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Reporters Without Borders expresses reservations about arrest of suspect in 2006 killing of U.S. cameraman Brad Will in Mexico

Six years after U.S. Indymedia cameraman Brad Will was shot to death in Oaxaca, Mexico, Mexican authorities have announced the arrest of a former public education employee, Lenin Osorio Ortega, charged with killing Will, reported Milenio. Still, media monitoring groups like Reporters Without Borders remain suspicious about who really killed Will, who was shot while covering a Popular Assembly of the People of Oaxaca (APPO) protest on Oct. 27, 2006.

Notimex reported that Osorio is suspected of being a lone shooter -- even though Will, just before he was killed, had filmed several men shooting directly at him -- and that he was shot from a distance of about 40 meters away, even though initial reports showed he had been killed at close range.

Mexican authorities said the bullets that killed Will did not match the bullets of two shooters in the video, identified as a city official and a police officer. Other armed men in Will's video include a local mayor and a state official of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).

Osorio is not the first person to be arrested in the killing of the journalist, according to the Huffington Post. While the gunmen in the video were not arrested, authorities instead arrested activist Juan Manuel Martínez Moreno, a baker and a former member of the APPO. Martínez was cleared of charges and released in 2010.

The previous arrest of an innocent man, along with other irregularities in the case, have left Reporters Without Borders suspicious. "We have our reservations about the claims being made in connection with Osorio's arrest,” the organization said in a statement. "All the aspects need to be checked... The investigation should explore all the leads, without trying to block examination of the most compromising aspects. Attempts to shed light on some of the other 83 murders of journalists – and 14 disappearances –in the past decade have been sabotaged or paralyzed by the complicity or, at best, incompetence of the investigators. The overwhelming majority of these cases are unfortunately still unpunished.”

Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.

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