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FORMER RCMP OFFICERS PREPARE MISLEADING REPORT CONCERNING KILLING OF AMERICAN JOURNALIST, BRAD WILL, IN OAXACA, MEXICO
MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT: www.friendsofbradwill.org; Scott Campbell: email@example.com
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On October 27, 2006, Brad Will, an independent journalist from the U.S., was shot and killed while documenting a protest in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca.
Since June of 2006, there had been a massive popular mobilization in Oaxaca, calling for democratic change and rallying against corruption, impunity and poverty in a state long dominated by the PRI (Institutional Party of the Revolution) headed by the regime of Ulises Ruis.
In response to the people’s pro-democracy movement, the state and federal governments unleashed a wave of repression against the movement, killing at least 26 people and violating the human rights of hundreds of others. Brad Will was one of those 26 killed.
One year later, in 2007, the Bush Administration announced a three-year international agreement known as the Mérida Initiative, authorizing the disbursement of $1.4 billion to Mexico, Central American countries and the Dominican Republic, with the vast majority of funds going to Mexico. A major focus of the Merida Initiative was to be the so-called “war on drugs”.
Original release of the funds was accompanied by a U.S. State Department call for a “thorough, credible and transparent investigation” into Brad Will’s murder.
While those who shot him have been clearly identified by eyewitnesses as police and local PRI party officials, the Mexican Attorney General’s Office (PGR) charged pro-democracy protester Juan Manuel Martínez Moreno for Brad’s murder in 2008. Human rights groups such as Amnesty International, Physicians for Human Rights, Reporters Without Borders, and the Committee to Protect Journalists, as well as the Mexican government's own National Human Rights Commission and the Will family, vigorously disputed the Attorney General's claims.
To bolster their fallacious claims, the PGR requested assistance from the Canadian Embassy in Mexico. In response, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) recommended three individuals, including two former RCMP officers, to carry out an “independent” investigation.
The Canadians’ report, released in July of 2009, supported the fallacious claims of the PGR that Will was shot at close range by a protester. Physicians for Human Rights, Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission and the Will family dismissed the report, pointing to the well documented facts that ballistic, sound, and photographic evidence point to a shot fired from a distance and from the direction from which police and local PRI party officials were firing at the protesters.
As well, the Canadian investigators, former RCMP officers recommended by the Canadian embassy, did not speak or read Spanish, so they had to rely on the PGR for translation and access to information; they did not reconstruct the murder scene or conduct witness interviews; their report displayed significant bias against Brad Will and the protesters; and it was riddled with inaccuracies.
After 16 months in prison, under false charges of murdering Brad Will, Juan Manuel Martínez was released on February 18, 2010, due to lack of evidence.
WE ARE ASKING YOU TO CONTACT THE CANADIAN GOVERNMENT AND PRESS IT TO EXPLAIN:
1. The process by which they recommended former RCMP officers who assisted the Mexican government in attempting to cover-up of the murder of a journalist and if, as news reports state, the PGR “turned to Canada…to bolster their case,” if the Canadian embassy in Mexico recommended individuals knowing they would support the PGR version? 
2. Why the Canadian government has not publicly condemned the manipulated report, done by former RCMP officers, on the murder of U.S. journalist Brad Will?
3. What is the Canadian government’s policy regarding the use by retired RCMP officers of their former RCMP affiliations in authoring reports at the request of a foreign government?
4. Will the Canadian government make public the information provided by the Canadian Embassy to the Mexican government regarding the investigators it proposed?
USING THE ABOVE TALKING POINTS, PLEASE SEND EMAILS TO THE FOLLOWING INDIVIDUALS:
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Canadian Embassy in Mexico: firstname.lastname@example.org
Royal Canadian Mounted Police: http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/cont/comment-eng.htm
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FOR MORE INFORMATION: or to get involved in the case of Brad Will and the social movement in Oaxaca,
join the Friends of Brad Will listserv: http://lists.interactivist.net/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/justiceforbrad;
contact Scott Campbell: email@example.com.
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www.rightsaction.org / firstname.lastname@example.org