Sad News from Oaxaca

I’ve been mostly offline (from the web, at least) for days now, so I apologize for not posting this earlier. Many readers well-plugged-in to the Indymedia scene will likely know already, but I must note the murder of NYC Indymedia journalist Brad Will by Mexican military forces in Oaxaca last Friday. This happened as mexican federal police continued a violent crackdown on the peoples’ popular movement (APPO) that has brought the center of Oaxaca City to a standstill.

What can I say except that it makes me very sad and angry, both for the death of this innocent man, and for what is happening to the people of Oaxaca at the hands of the corrupt state and federal governments. I’m afraid I otherwise can’t say anything that does justice to the situation, except express my deepest condolences to Brad’s family, friends and compañeros.

NYC Indymedia is doing an excellent job keeping up on the news from Oaxaca, as is Arizona Indymedia, which is posting English translations of updates from Indymedia Oaxaca.

Narconews has been providing continuous coverage of Oaxaca since the teachers’ strike began in May. Free Speech Radio News has also been providing very regular reports from its reporters in Oaxaca.

These independent sources are very important at this moment because the mainstream US news has paid little attention to Oaxaca, aside from when the situation flares up. But it’s not about isolated bursts of activity and violence, but rather a growing movement of peoples’ solidarity that is now being met with ever increasing state repression. The governments of Oaxaca and Mexico do not want the eyes of the world on them now.

In their press release on the death of Brad Will, the NYC Indymedia collective made explicit the role of information in this struggle, as first expressed by Subcommandante Marcos:

The NYC IMC also supports the call of Zapatista Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos “to compañeros and compañeras in other countries to unite and to demand justice for this dead compañero.” Marcos issued this call “especially to all of the alternative media, and free media here in Mexico and in all the world.”

Indymedia was born from the Zapatista vision of a global network of alternative communication against neoliberalism and for humanity. To believe in Indymedia is to believe that journalism is either in the service of justice or it is a cause of injustice. We speak and listen, resist and struggle. In that spirit, Brad Will was both a journalist and a human rights activist.

Finally, I’ll mention that I covered the developing situation in Oaxaca back in September on the radioshow in an interview with Nancy Davies and George Salzman, two retired Americans living there. George and Nancy were much more sanguine six weeks ago, before the federal soldiers came, as the APPO was gaining strength.

I’m out of town through Monday, so this Friday’s radioshow is already produced. But I think I’ll try to get in touch with Nancy and George again for the following show.



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