FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Rights Group: Mexico Disregards Forensic Findings in Probe of US Reporter’s Death

Vempati Chinna Satyam, Varavara Rao posing for the camera

Prosecutor’s Flawed Case May Have Led to Wrongful Arrest and Possibility that Real Killer Remains at Large

(Cambridge, Mass.) — Forensic experts with Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) reaffirm that the Mexican Attorney General’s Office (PGR) has disregarded the available scientific evidence from the 2006 shooting death of American journalist Brad Will. PHR’s review of the available evidence undercuts Mexico’s theory that the fatal shot was fired from the reporter’s immediate vicinity. Therefore, PHR is concerned over the likelihood that the wrong person remains in jail, charged with murder, while the real killer remains at large.

According to PHR, the Mexican prosecutor has deflected serious questions raised by its rigorous review of all available evidence. Will was one of at least 13 individuals who were fatally shot during protests in Oaxaca in 2006.

“From the documentation we recently received from the PGR, it is clear that there is no intention to allow forensic science to factor into the investigation of the case,””says Stefan Schmitt, Director of PHR’s International Forensic Program. “I see nothing in the scientific evidence that would indicate that Juan Manuel Martinez Moreno, who is accused of having stood in Brad Will’s vicinity and shot him, could have physically done so. In misrepresenting the facts, the PGR is clearly intent on making Will’s death look like a singular homicide and refraining from looking at the possibility that it might be linked to the clear pattern of unsolved gunshot-related deaths that happened at the time in Oaxaca.”

PHR’s independent forensic review conducted in March 2008 concluded that one of the projectiles ricocheted off a red object, deforming the projectile and transferring traces of red paint to it, before fatally striking Brad Will.

“There is no evidence of an intermediary red object close to the victim off of which the projectile could have ricocheted,” continued Schmitt.