The Murder of Indymedia Journalist Brad Will by Oaxacan Paramilitaries

NYC Indymedia Journalist Brad Will Shot Dead by Government Forces in Oaxaca

October 27, 2006


A shooting occurred today in Oaxaca City, Mexico, leaving New York City Indymedia journalist Bradley Will dead after being shot in the chest by paramilitaries.

By Barucha Calamity Peller

brad_willConfirmed by La Jornada (Mexico) and Radio APPO Oaxaca, NYC indymedia journalist shot in chest today 


Oct. 27th: A shooting occurred today in Oaxaca City, Mexico, leaving New York City Indymedia journalist Bradley Will dead after being shot in the chest by paramilitaries. He died before reaching the hospital, according to La Jornada. A photographer from the newspaper Milenio Diario, who was at Will's side, was shot in the foot and reported injured, his status unknown.

Radio APPO, the radio of the Popular Assembly of the Oaxacan People, is reporting truckloads of armed paramilitaries entering the city. They are calling for people to reinforce the thousands of barricades that have been constructed for months as part of the statewide teachers' strike and popular uprising that has demanded the removal of PRI governor Ulisis Ortiz Ruiz.

Narco News Report: Brad Will, New York Documentary Filmmaker and Indymedia Reporter, Assassinated by Pro-Government Gunshot in Oaxaca While Reporting the Story


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- He was at the Santa Lucia Barricade

- He was shot from a distance of 30-40 meters right in the pit of the stomach

- They say it was urban paramilitary priistas in plain clothes who shot him

- People then pulled him away to safety; its confirmed that he's dead; his body is at the red cross in oaxaca

- 3 additional dead (4 total); 1 member of radio universidad was injured, he went to the hospital in a volkswagen cuz no ambulances would come

From Barucha Calamity Peller -

Oct. 27 2006 - As the federal police wage a continuing violent siege on Oaxaca City, local people have apparently identified the person responsible for the fatal shooting of Brad Will in Oaxaca City, Mexico, today, after a television station showed video of the incident.

After the footage of the shooting was shown on Televisa, a large Mexican television network, Radio APPO in Oaxaca received four different reports from people who identified the shooter as a plain clothes police or possibly a paramilitary hired by the far right PRI party, and that his name is Pedro Camona, however, it is not confirmed that this is in fact the name of the shooter.

Three others were also shot and killed during the incident, one a schoolteacher named Emililio Alofonzo Fabian.

Throughout the day, radios run by the oaxacan protesters have been coming in and out listening range, reporting multiple incidents of violent aggression from federal police and paramilitary forces along the thousands of barricades constructed by the protesters in recent months. Several groups of protesters and teachers unions, along with Radio APPO have been surrounded and attacked by police and PRI party sympathizers. The radios continue to call for Oaxacan people to reinforce the barricades throughout the day, urging people to defend themselves with sticks. The protesters in Oaxaca have been using sticks and stones to fight off police and paramilitaries since the uprising began this summer. The APPO(the Popular Assembly of the People of Oaxaca, a fusion of protest groups) has consistently refuted mainstream Mexican press reports that paint the group as armed and violent.

Reports from Oaxaca also say that health and medical collectives have been aiding the rising number of injured people.

Before his murder today, Brad Will had been in Oaxaca taking video and reporting on the state wide popular uprising and teacher strike that began in June with the violent attempted removal of the striking teachers from their encampment in the center of Oaxaca City by federal police forces. Since then, the teachers and other groups formed the APPO, the Popular Assembly of the Oaxacan People, and have called for the removal of the governor of state Ulises Ruiz of the PRI. Will is believed to be the first journalist to be killed while reporting.

There is a long history of Mexico using government sponsored paramilitaries to repress social movements, including a massacre of hundreds of students in Mexico City in 1968.

As reports of protesters surrounded by armed government forces and police continue to pour in, activists in cities around the world are planning protests at Mexican embassies in outcry against the violent aggression against the people of Oaxaca.

A shootout has occurred in the municipality of Calicanto, in Oaxaca City, Mexico today, leaving New York City Indymedia journalist Bradley Will dead after being shot in the chest. He died before reaching the hospital, according to La Jornada. A photographer from the newspaper millenio diario, who was at Wills side, was shot in the foot and reported injured, his status unknown.

Radio APPO, the radio of the Assembly Popular of the Oaxacan People, are reporting truckloads of armed paramilitaries entering the city. There are also calling for people to reinforce the thousands of barricades that have been constructed for months as part of the statewide teacher strike and popular uprising that has demanded the removal of PRI governor ulisis Ortiz Ruiz.


La Jornada On Line - 27/10/2006 18:38

An American documentary maker killed in Oaxaca; a photographer injured 

A gunfight that occurred in the municipality of Calicante caused the death of American documentary maker Brat Will, of Washington Indymedia, who received a shot to the chest. A photographer from the newspaper Milenio Diario, Oswaldo Ramirez, was injured with a shot in the foot, stated the web edition of the paper. 

The confrontation occurred when groups of supposed white guards, according to the report of Radio Formula, joined the brigadistas that defended the barricades. 

The leader of APPO, Flavio Sosa, asked for the urgent intervention of the federal government in this municipality, because he said that groups in the service of the PRI mayor are frightening the brigidistas that are guarding the barricades with their weapons. “We only have stones and they have firearms” he said. 

According to early reports, a gunfight happened in Calicante and apart from the dead journalists and injured photographer, three more people were injured. 

The reporter was injured in the stomach, and died before arriving at a hospital. 

Especially in Calicante as in the municipality of San Antonio, both conurbados (like?) the capital, prevails an atmosphere of tension, because both the groups of appistas that guard the barricades and the supposed white guards are separated by a hundred meters and run the risk of a major confrontation. 

The brigadistas remain squatted across the barricades and according to reports, one of them was injured without the possibility of being moved to a center of attention.

One of Brad's Last Dispatches from Oaxaca.

Oct 27, 2006 10:31PM EDT 

yesterday i went for a walk with the good people of oaxaca -- was walking all day really -- in the afternoon they showed me where the bullets hit the wall -- they numbered the ones they could reach -- it reminded me of the doorway of amadou diallos home -- but here the grafitti was there before the shooting began -- one bullet they didnt number was still in his head -- he was 41 years old -- alejandro garcia hernandez -- at the neighborhood barricade every night -- that night he came out to join his wife and sons to let an ambulance through -- then a pickup tried to follow -- he took their bullet when he told them they could not pass -- they never did -- these military men in civilian dress shot their way out of there 

a young man who wanted to only be called marco was with them when the shooting happened -- a bullet passed through his shoulder -- he was clearly in shock when we met -- 19 years old -- said he hadnt told his parents yet -- said he had been at the barricade every night -- said he was going back as soon as the wound closed -- absolutely 

just days before there was a delegation of senators visiting to determine the ungovernability of the state -- they got a taste -- the call went out to shut down the rest of the government -- dozens went walking out of the zocalo city center with big sticks and a box full of spray paint -- they took control of 3 city buses and went around the city all morning visiting local government buildings and informing them that that they were closed -- and we appreciate your voluntary cooperation -- and they filed out preturbed but still getting paid -- shut -- as they pulled away from the last stop 3 gunmen came out and started shooting -- 2 buses had already pulled away -- mayhem -- 10 minute battle with stones and slingshots and screaming -- one headwound -- another through the leg -- made their way to the hospital while the fighting continued -- shout out on the radio and people came from all parts -- the gunmen were around the side of the building -- they got away -- they were inside -- no one sure -- watchful -- undercover police were reported lurking around the hospital and folks went running to stand watch over the wounded 

what can you say about this movement -- this revolutionary moment -- you know it is building, growing, shaping -- you can feel it -- trying desperately for a direct democracy -- in november appo will have a state wide conference for the formation of a state wide assemblea estatal del pueblo de oaxaca (aepo) -- now there are 11 of 33 states in mexico that have declared formation of assemblea populares like appo -- and on la otra lado in the usa a few -- the marines have returned to sea even though the federal police who ravaged atenco remain close by -- the new encampment in mexico has begun a hunger strike -- the senate can expell URO -- whats next nobodies sure -- it is a point of light pressed through glass -- ready to burn or show the way -- it is clear that this is more than a strike, more than expulsion of a governor, more than a blockade, more than a coalition of fragments -- it is a genuine peoples revolt -- and after decades of pri rule by bribe, fraud, and bullet the people are tired -- they call him the tyrant -- they talk of destroying this authoritarianism -- you cannot mistake the whisper of the lancandon jungle in the streets -- in every street corner deciding together to hold -- you see it their faces -- indigenous, women, children -- so brave -- watchful at night -- proud and resolute 

went walking back from alejandros barricade with a group of supporters who came from an outlying district a half hour away -- went walking with angry folk on their way to the morgue -- went inside and saw him -- havent seen too many bodies in my life -- eats you up -- a stack of nameless corpes in the corner -- about the number who had died -- no refrigeration -- the smell -- they had to open his skull to pull the bullet out -- walked back with him and his people

... and now alejandro waits in the zocalo -- like the others at their plantones -- hes waiting for an impasse, a change, an exit, a way forward, a way out, a solution -- waiting for the earth to shift and open -- waiting for november when he can sit with his loved ones on the day of the dead and share food and drink and a song -- waiting for the plaza to turn itself over to him and burst -- he will only wait until morning but tonight he is waiting for the governor and his lot to never come back -- one more death -- one more martyr in a dirty war -- one more time to cry and hurt -- one more time to know power and its ugly head -- one more bullet cracks the night -- one more night at the barricades -- some keep the fires -- others curl up and sleep -- but all of them are with him as he rests one last night at his watch

This is an agression versus american people from mexican government

Oct 27, 2006 10:53PM EDT

Oscar Amador Molina - Greetings from Mexico: 

I think you all know that Mexico is one of the most dangerous countries in the world to work as a journalist, but this is way over the line. I mean, this is a direc agression from the mexican government against an american citizen, and I think that the USA should take actions against the both federal and state government. 

What we saw today is a murder, and the international laws should get this murderers behind bars, they should be taken to the law, prosecuted and executed. 

If you check, you can see pictures of the shooters, and how did they act against unarmed people. 

I hope Indymedia can turn the world's eyes to Mexico, where the government goes against the people.

Oct 27, 2006 11:41PM EDT

kaitlyn tikkun
Oh my god. There is little that can be said as this void is punched into our community. We'll fight for you, Brad. Rest in peace. 


Viva Brad
Oct 27, 2006 11:56PM EDT
Sonho Real
Nós aqui de Goiás, sentimos muito a morte de nosso irmão de luta! 

Ele nos apoiou muito quando esteve aqui! 

Brad you live in our hearts !

Oct 28, 2006 01:50AM EDT
Modern Pitung - I can at best claim acquaintance with Brad, having been around the same demos whether they were against sweatshops, police brutality, or corporate globalization. He always struck me as someone of a consciousness that was both both broad and deep. It shows in his last writing, where he relates the violence of the state done to Amadou Diallo to that done to the APPO, from the Bronx to Oaxaca. 

The last time I spoke with Brad was all too brief, but touching. I was in a small but crowded group in Bluestockings, at a fundraiser for tsunami relief in Aceh. Being an Indonesian who was generally dissatisfied with the way leftists sought to simply ennoble the suffering Acehnese and Indonesians while asking no questions as to why it happened, I was impressed with how Brad seemed to know instinctually that we should question the official feelgood stories there. He seemed to feel, deep in his heart, that his purpose as a journalist wasn't to manufacture consent but to push dissent. 

Brad Will -- Presente!

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