Brad Will's Killer is Still at Large

Juan Manuel Martinez, the political activist wrongly accused of killing US video journalist Brad Will, has been released.  Although this is welcome news, his accusation and detention constitute a miscarriage of justice that has ensured that the real perpetrator of Brad Will’s killing is still at large.

Brad Will’s tragic death and the subsequent unwarranted arrest of Juan Martinez have served to highlight Mexico’s human rights abuses and broken criminal justice system.  Brad Will, a video journalist, was filming a confrontation between protesters and local police when he was shot. Juan Martinez had been wrongly detained for his murder since October 2008.  AmnestyInternational believes he was being used as a scapegoat.  Mexican authorities must investigate who really killed Brad Will.

No one has been brought to justice for any of the killings that took place during the 2006 Oaxaca protests. Amnesty International demands an investigation into the abuses committed by the security forces during violent political protests in the Mexican state of Oaxaca in 2006 when Brad Will and at least 17 others, most of them political activists, were killed.

Amnesty International is also concerned about Juan Manuel’s safety, and urges the Mexican authorities to ensure his safety and offer him appropriate compensation for the unnecessary suffering he has experienced as a result of his wrongful imprisonment by the authorities.

Who Really Killed Brad Will?

Brad Will ©AI

Brad Will ©AI

This week is the anniversary of the death of Brad Will, a US video journalist who was shot and killed in Mexico on October 27, 2006. When he was killed, Bradley Roland Will was in Oaxaca City, in southern Mexico, filming a clash between members of a local protest movement (Asamblea Popular del Pueblo de Oaxaca, APPO) and supporters and officials of the local governing party. Three years later, Amnesty International believes that the truth about Brad Will’s death has still not come out. Juan Manuel Martínez, an APPO sympathizer, has been detained pending trial since October 2008 for Will’s murder. However, experts from Physicians for Human Rights and the National Human Rights Commission have concluded that Will was not shot at close range, and Martinez is said to have been standing right next to him when the shooting happened. Amnesty International believes the evidence against Martinez is flawed and he is a being used as a scapegoat.

The tragedy and injustice of Brad Will’s death and Juan Manuel Martínez’s unfounded prosecution are part of the failure to investigate and hold to account those responsible for widespread human rights violations committed in Oaxaca in 2006 and 2007.