18 February 2010.

A Mexican Federal Court today ordered the release of Juan Manuel Martinez due to lack of evidence. He had been detained since 2008 for the murder of US video journalist Brad Will who was shot when filming a confrontation between protesters and local police during the social conflict in Oaxaca in 2006.

“This release was long overdue,” said Kerrie Howard, Americas Deputy Director at Amnesty International. “Juan Manuel has been used as a scapegoat by the Mexican authorities to claim there has been progress in the investigation around Brad Will’s death” The need to resolve the case became paramount after the US Congress made it a condition for the release of some of the funding to the Merida Initiative - a major regional bi-lateral security co-operation and assistance programme.

See the Amnesty International Press Release

Juan Manual was represented by the Comittee 25 November (Comité 25 de Noviembre) a human rights organisation, acompanied by PBI which provides legal defence in paradigmatic cases of human rights violations in Oaxaca.

<media 5809>Learn more about the New Organisation accompanied by PBI in Oaxaca: Committee 25 November </media>