Trouble in Oaxaca

Below is a press release that I recieved from the Chiapas Media Project:

As independent journalists working in Mexico, we are outraged by the brutal murder of one of
our colleagues, Brad Will, at the hands of plainclothes police officers and local government
officials in the State of Oaxaca. Brad's death is now being used as a pretext by the Mexican
federal government to launch a military incursion into Oaxaca City. The logic behind this police
action represents a total distortion of the facts as we have been reporting and we are urging the
media to more carefully scrutinize recent events. It is our hope that you, our colleagues, can help
prevent bloodshed in Mexico.
Yesterday, Brad was reporting from a protest encampment in Santa Lucia del Camino, Oaxaca,
when it came under attack from several individuals in civilian clothing who shot pistols and high
powered rifles at the protesters. Brad was filming the siege when one of the assailants fatally
shot him twice in the abdomen. According to local residents and the Mexican newspaper El
Universal, the attackers have been positively identified as municipal police officers and
government officials of Santa Lucia del Camino.
The current conflict began on June 14th when Oaxaca's governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz sent in state
police to break a teachers' strike that was camped out in the center of Oaxaca City. Gov. Ruiz
had already alarmed international human rights organizations, including Amnesty International,
for atrocities committed before the June 14 police violence. The actions on June 14th further
ignited people’s anger throughout the State who responded, by forming the People's Popular
Assembly of Oaxaca (APPO) who reinforced the teachers' encampment in Oaxaca City. The
single demand of the APPO has been the resignation of Gov. Ruiz. In the last five months, at
least 12 people have been killed by police and paramilitary forces connected to Gov. Ruiz.
Major media outlets, worldwide, have erroneously implied that teachers and members of the
APPO are to blame for the violence, including the death of Brad Will. Repeated calls on
Mexican television for the restoration of "law and order" are disturbing because they fail to
recognize that the recent spate of targeted killings have been traced to the State government, and
that the fundamental necessity to restoring peace in the state is the immediate removal of Gov.
Ruiz. This is a conclusion that we, as journalists, have reached after studying the facts carefully.
A siege of the city is expected to begin tonight. Most observers agree that it will be impossible
to dislodge the protesters without bloodshed. We are calling on all responsible
journalists to cover this impending crisis, and help to shed light on the facts before more
innocent lives are lost.
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  1. Anonymous8:44 AM

    This is a little different than the story put out by the mainstream news, huh?
    It's very sad.

  2. Yeah... It's yet another example of how we most likely never get the full story from the mainstream media. We may get pieces, half truths, or even lies, but we never seem to get the full story. It truly is a blackmark on the profession of journalism.

  3. Anonymous8:56 PM

    It's also interesting to think of the goal of 'high' journalism: objectivity. But is this an achievable and practical goal? One of the flip sides of objectivity perhaps is appealing to sympathy - or appealing to that elusive collective consciousness, the one that hopefully would say, 'Hey, something's wrong here...'

  4. Anonymous2:34 AM

    and of course...
    something is wrong here...
    or there we should say.


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