Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Mexico: two tortured, murdered, hung from bridge as warning to those using Twitter, blogs to report narco-crime

In Nuevo Laredo, Mexico today, bloggers and Twitter users who share information on crimes of drug cartels and related gangs received a gruesome warning. The tortured bodies of two people in their mid-twenties "hanging like cuts of meat from a pedestrian bridge" were found with posters warning various sites that publish news of narco-terror incidents to stop, or suffer a similar fate.

One of the blogs named, Blog Del Narco, was the subject of a recent Boing Boing feature: guest contributor Raul Gutierrez interviewed its anonymous author.

This is the first incident I am aware of in Mexico in which social media users and bloggers, as opposed to journalists working for more conventional news organizations, have been targeted in this manner.

The identities of the victims have not been reported, and it is not yet clear what their relation was, if any, to the blogs named on the accompanying placards.

One of the messages near the corpses read:

This happened for snitching on Frontera Al Rojo Vivo (A Grupo Refroma internet forum created to both inform of and denounce cartel activity)

The other message read:

This will happen to all the internet snitches (Frontera al Rojo Vivo, Blog Del Narco, or Denuncia Ciudadano) Be warned, we've got our eye on you. Signed, Z

From CNN:

A woman was hogtied and disemboweled, her intestines protruding from three deep cuts on her abdomen. Attackers left her topless, dangling by her feet and hands from a bridge in the border city of Nuevo Laredo. A bloodied man next to her was hanging by his hands, his right shoulder severed so deeply the bone was visible. Signs left near the bodies declared the pair, both apparently in their early 20s, were killed for posting denouncements of drug cartel activities on a social network.

Commenting on the news today, Nick Valencia of CNN tweeted,

This new development in the drugwar of threats to social media users speaks volumes to the subhuman nature of the cartels and narcos. Seemingly anyone is fair game for the narcos in their brutal campaign for money and power in Mexico. [But] social media users in Mexico have vowed to stand strongly united in the face of the narcos cowardly expressions of violence.

More: Mundo Narco, Christian Science Monitor, Washington Post, Houston Chronicle, Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas.

Sent from James' iPhone

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