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Parents of journalist killed in Mexico to bring in outside investigators to review evidence

Parents of journalist killed in Mexico to bring in outside investigators to review evidence

The parents of an American journalist slain in a violent Mexico uprising said Wednesday they are frustrated with the official probe into his death and will have outside investigators review the evidence.
Bradley Roland Will, 36, was fatally shot in October 2006 while filming unrest in southern Oaxaca state, where protesters had been fighting for months to oust Gov. Ulises Ruiz for alleged electoral fraud. Will recorded video and wrote dispatches for indymedia.org at the time, and his camera filmed his own death.
"It's been a year-and-a-half now," said father Hardy Will, who traveled to Mexico City and Oaxaca with Bradley's mother, Kathy Will, to meet with authorities and human rights groups. "We would expect some progress and concrete results."
The couple met Tuesday with investigators from the federal Attorney General's office, which took over the case from Oaxacan prosecutors. Officials there agreed to let four experts from Physicians for Human Rights examine Will's autopsy, various photographs, video footage and ballistics evidence.
The family is particularly interested in having them study Will's own video to rule out a close-range shooting.
On the day of the killing, Will was videotaping a group of protesters in the Oaxacan slum of Santa Lucia when a gunbattle erupted. The New York-native was shot in the abdomen and died before he reached the hospital.
Investigators arrested two town officials in the killing but released them after state Attorney General Lizbeth Cana suggested Will may have been shot by a nearby protester.
A spokeswoman for Mexico's federal Attorney General's office declined comment on the case Wednesday.
"The hypothesis up to this point is that it was somebody next to Brad, and we feel that is totally ridiculous," Kathy Will said.
The National Human Rights Commission said 11 others died as a direct result of the confrontations and blamed both authorities and protesters for excessive violence that ravaged Oaxaca from May to November 2006, according to a 2007 report.
"He was killed in the exact same way as the others," Kathy Will said. "We feel it's our duty to follow his path _ to not allow him to be another victim of exactly what he was trying to uncover."


Updated : 2021-03-08 02:29 GMT+08:00