Our country is focused on the civil war in Iraq; we are failing to notice the one emerging on our doorstep.
Sarah Ferguson has posted an extensive article addressing the question, “Who shot Brad Will?” The NYC IMC statement on the Caña Cadeza Investigation still stands.
Since Brad’s murder on October 27, 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.
Jaime Arturo Olvera Bravo, Enrique Perea Quintanilla, and Ramiro Téllez Contreras were killed earlier this year and Rafael Ortiz Martínez and Alfredo Jiménez Mota are missing.
Over 100 journalists and media activists have signed the letter for press freedom in response to Brad’s death. It states, in part,
When the members of the press are subjected to physical attack, it is our values of freedom and of democracy which suffer… Hoodlums and political operatives who wish to operate under cover of darkness often feel safe in silencing independent reporters through acts of violence and intimidation. Violence against reporters on the edge is harbinger to destruction of press freedom in the middle.
The attacks on journalists in Mexico are symptoms of a much, much bigger problem: a new dirty war has begun in response to widespread political unrest.
From Oaxaca, the country’s poorest state, to the Lacandon Jungle of Chiapas, to the capitol Mexico City where López Obrador continues to reject the legitimacy of incoming president Felipe Calderón, the country is growing increasingly unstable. Drug traffickers control or terrorize much of the north and there is severe corruption at all levels of the government. Meanwhile, the Bush administration is militarizing the US-Mexico border.
“We are on the eve of either a great uprising or a civil war,” Subcomandante Marcos stated at a press conference on the day of our Thanksgiving. And then things got even worse…