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Mexican Drug Cartels Target Social Media

"Social Media" by Choconancy1 on flickr

"Social Media" by Choconancy1 on flickr

Wednesday CNN did a report on Mexican drug cartels which not only have all but silenced Mexican journalists and news organizations from covering drug cartel actions and killings, but they are now monitoring social media and have struck out and murdered two people for passing information about the cartels. You may have missed this story even as important as it is being overshadowed by political and economic news coverage on CNN.

In fact the story here was all but buried on its website. However it is a story which needs to be told.

A man and a woman, both in their early 20s, were left hanging like cuts of meat. The woman was hogtied and disemboweled, her intestines protruding from three deep cuts on her abdomen. She was then hung from the bridge by her feet and hands, topless. The bloodied man was suspended next to her by his hands, his right shoulder severed so deeply you can see the bone.

Two posters left near the bodies declared that the pair — a young man and woman — were killed for posting denouncements of drug cartel activities on a social network.

Bloggers who specialize in sharing news about trafficking have been threatened in the past, but this could be the first time that users of such social networks have been targeted.

The website Reporters Without Borders reported last month that two journalists had been killed during August by drug cartels in retribution for their reporting.

According to the website 77 journalists have been murdered since 2000 and Mexico is more dangerous to journalists than even Columbia.

As the link above reads in part, Corruption on the part of elected officials, sometimes in cahoots with drug-traffickers, or human rights violations by police or the army are other high risk subjects for the Mexican media, especially local journalists. This state of affairs goes a long way to explain the lack of enthusiasm on the part of the executive or the courts to ensure that light is shed on the murder of journalists. Not one of the 46 murders since 2000 has ever really been resolved, as most of the investigations have been mired in irregularities.

But even that count of those killed has changed with the reporting of two female journalists who were found murdered this month.

Reporters Without Borders is shocked by the murders of reporter Ana María Yarce Viveros, the founder of the weekly magazine Contralínea, and Rocio González Trápaga, a freelance journalist who used to work for Televisa. The bodies of two women were found in a Mexico City park yesterday.

This double murder comes just a week after Humberto Millán Salazar, a presenter on Radio Formula and editor of the online newspaper A-Discusión, was murdered in the northwestern state of Sinaloa.

“More and more journalists are faced with the choice between self-censorship or exile. Can the media survive in Mexico? The authorities have still not implemented an agreement on safety mechanisms for journalists that was signed nearly a year ago. We are waiting for the government to act.”

Now those blogging and using other social media are in grave danger of reporting or commenting.

The video below is not the CNN report but one posted on YouTube earlier this year which does not identify the news organization but highlights the plight of Mexican journalists and the danger they face.

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Lyndon Evans

Lyndon Evans

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