For Immediate Release

Shari Ireton
University of Washington School of Law


Witness to journalist's murder in Mexico to speak at UW

Gustavo Vilchis, a journalist from Mexico who witnessed the murder of U.S. journalist Brad Will in Oaxaca, will speak to students Wednesday, October 29 from 7-9 p.m. in Thompson Hall Room 101 on the UW campus. He will be joined by Melissa Mundt and their lecture is part of a tour for the recently published book Teaching Rebellion: Stories from the Grassroots Mobilization in Oaxaca and is sponsored by the UW law school Chapter of the UW National Lawyers Guild, the Latino/a Law Student Society, and the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies.

Days after Mexican authorities arrested two activists for Will's murder, Vilchis denounced the arrests as politically motivated. Will was shot and killed on October 27, 2006, during a clash between protesters and authorities in Oaxaca, Mexico that lasted nearly six months. On September 28, 2008, the National Commission on Human Rights in Mexico released a report claiming that there were serious irregularities and omissions during the investigation of the murder.

Vilchis, a native of neighboring state of Guerrero, arrived in Oaxaca as an independent photographer seeking to cover the people's resistance. He collaborated extensively with the Liga Mexicana de Derechos Humanos (Mexican League of Human Rights). Many of his photographs and his testimony are featured in the book.

Mundt coordinated CASA (Collectives of Support, Solidarity and Action) Chiapas from 2004-06 and laid the groundwork for CASA Oaxaca. She now works for Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project providing legal services to detained immigrants in Arizona.

Teaching Rebellion is about the 2006 social mobilization in Oaxaca and the speaking tour aims to foster dialogue among activists from Oaxaca and the U.S.

The event is free and open to the public.

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