October 27, 2006, in Santa Lucía del Camino, MexicoWill, 36, an independent documentary filmmaker and reporter for the news Web site Indymedia, was shot at 5:30 p.m. on October 27, while covering clashes between activists of the antigovernment Popular Assembly of the People of Oaxaca (APPO) and armed assailants.
Oswaldo Ramírez, a photographer for the Mexico City-based daily Milenio who was with Will and other Mexican journalists, told CPJ that armed men fired at the protesters. Will, who was standing nearby, was hit in the neck and abdomen.
Will had been covering the conflict in Oaxaca for at least six weeks. He had interviewed witnesses and activists, and shot footage of protests for a documentary on the conflict, the local human rights group, Red Oaxaqueña de Derechos Humanos, said in a statement.
The conflict in the colonial city started May 22, when a strike by the local teachers union sparked a wave of antigovernment protests. After Oaxaca Gov. Ulises Ruiz Ortiz ordered police to disperse protesters with tear gas on June 14, leftist, indigenous, and student groups joined the protests, which became violent. APPO protesters had been calling for the ouster of Ruiz since the confrontation began. Several journalists covering the unrest were beaten and harassed by protesters and by police in civilian clothes, CPJ research showed.
Two local officials were detained in connection with Will's killing, but they were released within weeks. Mexican press reports said photographs and video footage documented the killing.
Job: Camera Operator, Internet Reporter, Producer
Beats Covered: Human Rights
Local or Foreign: Foreign
Type of Death: Dangerous Assignment
Suspected Source of Fire: Government Officials
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