Lying Media Bastards

August 8, 2007

Murder in Context


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This week, 24 different alt-weeklies across the US will be running the investigative piece, “Who Killed Brad Will?”, about the activist and journalist who was assassinated in Oaxaca, Mexico last year.

The article’s title is misleading, implying that there is a mystery here to be solved. But the “mystery” is put to bed by paragraph six; we know who Brad’s killers are, they were caught on film, their images captured by their victim. We know their names, their identities, where they live, etc. However they have not been arrested, charged, or imprisoned. They roam free, untroubled– as do the killers of dozens of other Oaxacans who dared to speak out against the rotten regime.

The article then tells the “beginning” of Brad’s tale, moves on to his travels through Latin America, and then gives background on Oaxaca, its recent rebellion, and the crackdown. But then begins to paint another picture, one that tells of Brad’s killers going free, and the broader context of abused power, fear, and impunity that is common in Mexico.

Finally, the article goes even broader, explaining how the corruption, the crackdown, and in a way, Brad’s death, is about oil. The new president of Mexico wants to privatize Mexico’s oil company (PEMEX). One of the nation’s larger (and notoriously dirty) political parties, the PRI, was willing to endorse the president’s privatization, but only in return for favors. And one of those favors was to rescue the PRI governor of Oaxaca, Ulises Ruiz Ortiz. And Ortiz’s removal was the goal of the Oaxacan protesters. So Mexico’s president was able to bring the hammer down on the people of Oaxaca in the name of petroleum and pesos.

And of course, the privatization and selling off of PEMEX assets could be of great profit to oil entities like Exxon and Halliburton. Which ties the murder of one man, and the struggle of one community, into the global conflict for ultimate power and resource dominance.

Posted by Jake on August 8, 2007 3:41 pm

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