Indymedia Journalist murdered by government paramilitaries in Oaxaca; Marcos calls on alternative media to demand justice

Mexican government-backed paramilitaries attacking the popular occupation of the city of Oaxaca killed human rights activist and Indymedia journalist Brad Will.

Brad was a familiar figure to those who squatted the Lower East Side, occupied the countryside of Brazil, and built the Other Campaign in Mexico.

Even if he sometimes was a challenging person to get along with, no one who knew him doubted his commitment to global justice. Surely no one ever will.

Even after many of the other people who had lived through the days of N30 and A16 had left the struggle behind, Brad kept fighting, going to where globalization bared its fangs and staring it down, camera in hand.

I would say that Brad was a human rights activist first, a journalist second. He should be remembered as a hero of the New York City Independent Media Center because he always knew something that others of us are just coming to understand: Journalism is either in the service of justice or it is a cause of injustice.

Read Al Giordano’s obituary for Brad, which includes this statement from Zapatista Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos, responding to the news about Brad’s death while speaking at a public meeting of the Other Campaign in Buaiscobe, Sonora:

We know that they killed at least one person. This person that they killed was from the alternative media that are here with us. He didn’t work for the big television news companies and didn’t receive pay. He is like the people who came here with us on the bus, who are carrying the voices of the people from below so that they would be known. Because we already know that the television news companies and newspapers only concern themselves with governmental affairs. And this person was a compañero of the Other Campaign. He also traveled various parts of the country with us, and he was with us when we were in Yucatán, taking photos and video of what was happening there. And they shot him and he died. It appears that there is another person dead. The government doesn’t want to take responsibility for what happened. Now they tell us that all of the people of Oaxaca are mobilizing. They aren’t afraid. They are mobilizing to take to the streets and protest this injustice. We are issuing a call to all of the Other Campaign at the national level and to compañeros and compañeras in other countries to unite and to demand justice for this dead compañero. We are making this call especially to all of the alternative media, and free media here in Mexico and in all the world.



  1. Thanks for that, Josh. The really awful thing down there is the state-run radio station that declared Brad “an armed terrorist,” according to a Channel 4 staffer who blogged the incident. There is a lot of that kind of information warfare going on, and what really concerns me is that projects like Global Voices Online are lending credibility to these efforts. Witness the frequent platform GVO gives to a “blogger” allegedly resident in Oaxaca whose posts track very closely the “facts” on the ground disseminated by persons acting on behalf of Ulises Ruiz.

    Have a read and tell me what you think:

  2. […] Here are two small but important details about Brad’s death: […]

  3. […] By Joshua Breitbart @ Here are two small but important details about Brad’s death:He was wearing an Indymedia t-shirt when he was shot. One bullet must have gone right through the (((i)). Maybe that shouldn’t matter to me but it does. I have that t-shirt, as do many people I love.Second, Brad lived for nearly an hour after he was shot. The initial photos made it seem like he died on the spot. Other reports suggest he died minutes later on the way to a hospital. In fact, protesters carried his body for a long distance, drove a car until it ran out of gas, unsuccessfully tried to wave down a couple of trucks – it started to rain – and then, about five blocks from the Red Cross station, he died. I don’t know if this should matter either, but it does. […]

  4. […] Brad Will’s death has been used as an excuse by Mexican President Vicente Fox to send thousands of federal troops to repress the political uprising in Oaxaca. US Ambassador to Mexico Antonio Garza signalled his support for that move when he called for a return to “lawfulness and order.” […]

  5. […] Since Brad’s murder, three other journalists have been killed in Mexico: Roberto Marcos García, José Manuel Nava Sánchez, and Misael Tamayo Hernández. They were not working in Oaxaca, where many other reporters have been attacked by government forces, but those deaths compound Mexico’s standing as the most dangerous country in Latin America for journalists. […]

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