February 9, 2008

Keeping Brad in Our Hearts

First here is a report from Friends of Brad Will about what his parents have to doing to get justice for Brad. Following that is information on how other friends are carrying Brad's work on by shining light on the Plan Mexico fiasco. Finally, there's a link to a petition requesting justice for Brad.
[...] What follow is a basic summary, with some quotes from Kathy Will, Brad's mom, in the mix.
They have been working primarily through the US Embassy in Mexico, whose offices they feel have been cooperative and at times helpful. In late December the Wills were contacted by the embassy and informed that a Mr. Francisco Rivera, who heads up the Crimes Against Journalists branch of the PGR (The PGR is the Mexican version of the FBI) wanted to meet with embassy officials to discuss Brad's case. The embassy contacted Kathy Will to ask her if she had any new information. Kathy requested to be included in the meeting by conference call, and Rivera agreed. In that phone call, Rivera reiterated many of the theories that the PGR's "experts" have come up with. According to Kathy "
they are still trying to blame someone/anyone other than the para-police. They say it was not a distance shot and that it came from someone nearby, an APPO member or an "infiltrator" (whatever that means!)."

At the end of February (this month), the family will actually be meeting with the PGR
investigators, along with their lawyer, and representatives from CNDH (the Mexican government's Department for Human Rights, which the Wills see as actually quite independent, though not vested with enough power to make change. They do make public recommendations, and have been very critical of the investigation into Brad's murder.)
Importantly, in that phone call with Rivera, Rivera agreed to allow an independent group of experts access to the evidence. These experts are going to be chosen by the Wills, in coordination with Amnesty International and the Committee to Protect Journalists. These experts will submit their findings to the PGR. What happens from there is anyone's guess, and how the PGR uses or doesn't use that information will determine how the Will family proceeds from there. It is all very delicate at this point, but there is motion in the process.
In terms of what we can do from here, here is what Kathy had to say about that:
"It certainly does not hurt to keep the case in the eyes of our government - State dept, reps and senate. It would be great if our gov. did put some REAL pressure on Mexico for their human rights abuses, but they are so distracted by all the other issues - illegal immigration and drugs - (not to mention Iraq and the election!) that it does not seem to be a major issue now... Continue doing what you are doing - keeping Brad in your hearts. It helps give us the energy to continue on this slow and hopefully successful course. It was truly wonderful to meet all of you in October. We were so moved by everyone's recollections. It was definitely a step forward in our healing process."
Plan Mexico Hearing Thursday Feb 7th in Congress D.C.
Press Advisory: Friends of murdered US journalist and activist, Brad Will expose Bush administration’s plan to give 1.5 billion dollar military aid package to corrupt and deadly Mexican police forces.
CONTACT: Harry Bubbins at 646-641-5788
Friends of murdered U.S journalist and activist, Brad Will are working to expose the Bush administration’s plan to get Congress to approve a 1.5 billion dollar military aid package to Mexico under the pretext of fighting the widely criticized “war on drugs.” The “Merida Initiative” or Plan Mexico is a secret “security pact” to expand the ‘drug war’ in Mexico and would provide weapons - including helicopters, (previously used by Mexican police forces to shoot civilians at protests) and surveillance equipment, and lethal “counter-insurgency” training to brutal Mexican security forces and corrupt government institutions that have been widely condemned for human rights abuses. Much more information is available at http://www.friendsofbradwill.org/
Please sign the petition: http://www.gopetition.com/online/9996.html

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