Will, 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.