In Mexico, Tweeting About Drug Cartels Can Be Fatal

    September 16, 2011

Twitter, for all its various criticisms, has been proven to be an effective message carrier, especially for citizens looking for social change. The events in areas like Egypt, Syria, Libya, as well as the explosive use during the Japanese earthquakes show when you cut through the unending noise in Twitter–I LUV BEING A BIELBER–there is some very valuable signals worth paying attention to.

Unfortunately, however, one area where tweeting about social change is not recommended is in Mexico when discussing the powerful and deadly drug cartels that base their operations there. In fact, such defiance may result in a brutal, inhuman response from the enforcers of these gangs.

Such is the case currently going on in Mexico, which came to light after two bodies were found hanging from a bridge in Nuevo Laredo. The victims were viciously murdered in what looks like another case of cartel retaliation. In this case, the difference is, the two victims defied the cartels by speaking out against them on Twitter.

For their efforts, they were disemboweled and put on display as a message for others who feel defiant towards the cartels and want to voice their opinions about it. The story of the two victims has since exploded on the Internet, and while the cartels are discussed, it’s the victims’ use of Twitter to speak out against these entities that’s getting the attention.

The fact that there were warnings found by the victims, with one mentioning posting “funny stuff,” is powering the narrative. One warning, courtesy of CNN, says:

“This is going to happen to all of those posting funny things on the Internet,” one sign said. “You better (expletive) pay attention. I’m about to get you.”

The warning signs left with the victims, who, according to CNN’s report, still haven’t been identified or claimed, mentions two blogs specifically, Al Rojo Vivo and Blog del Narco.

While the brutality of these murders cannot be overlooked–read CNN’s article for a descriptive account if you’d like–it should be noted that the defiance towards the cartels has not deceased:

On the Al Rojo Vivo forum, where citizens can make anonymous tips, one person wrote: “Don’t be afraid to denounce. It’s very difficult for them to find out who denounced. They only want to scare society.”

That being said, if you are going to denounce these cartels, make sure they don’t or can’t find out who you are after the criticism goes live. This is one place where Internet anonymity would be wise.