The CPJ letter argued that the indictment of the three protesters ignored considerable evidence against pro-government gunmen photographed shooting into the crowd during the deadly battle.
The recent response from the
special prosecutor's office reiterated its confidence that
witness testimony and evidence point to the
demonstrators' culpability. It stated that the special prosecutor's office had "analyzed
all the possible investigation lines. No evidence was discarded or ignored." (Read the special prosecutor's response in Spanish.)
Authorities did not address an important ongoing question: Why is photographic and forensic evidence that could implicate pro-government gunmen not considered credible? They argue that photojournalist Raúl Estrella, who works for Mexico's daily newspaper El Universal, testified that the gunmen fired shots at him during the deadly street battle. But there was no acknowledgement that the gunmen were also seen firing at other journalists in the crowd and no explanation why these gunmen would not be suspects in Will's killing.
Authorities also did not provide detail to defend their controversial theory that Will was shot twice at close range, defying conclusions by independent investigators, Mexico's National Human Rights Commission, and medical examiners in Oaxaca that both bullets came from weapons fired at long range--a distance that would point to weapons fired by the pro-government gunmen.
Oaxacan Judge Luis Salvador Cordero, in ruling that Martínez should stand trial, found that a "proven motive" implicated the protester, the prosecutor notes. But no reasoning for that motive has been provided beyond the fact that a protester is overheard on Will's videotape, seconds before the shooting, saying, "don't continue taking pictures." The authorities consider the comment a threat, but there are many ways to interpret such a statement during an intense moment. It is hardly solid evidence of a murder motive.
By not addressing these concerns in greater detail, authorities have failed to allay doubts over their ability and willingness to investigate this case.