Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

Decapitated Woman Mourned by Social Media Website

Monday, September 26, 2011 |

More on the issue of the danger to the Social Media Networks and Ovemex quoted again, now in the LA Times:

By Daniel Hernandez
Los Angeles Times

Image: Screen shot of messages posted on Nuevo Laredo en Vivo discussing the reported death of a contributor known as NenaDLaredo. Credit: via Twitter.

A woman found decapitated in the border city of Nuevo Laredo is being mourned as an apparent member of a social networking site used by local residents to share information on drug cartel activity.

The victim was found early Saturday with a note nearby saying she was killed for posting messages online about violent or criminal incidents in Nuevo Laredo.

The Tamaulipas state attorney general's office identified the woman as Maria Elizabeth Macias Castro, 39, and said she was an editor at the newspaper Primera Hora (links in Spanish). The Associated Press, however, quoting an employee of the newspaper, identified the victim as Marisol Macias Castaneda, and said she held an administrative and not an editorial post at Primera Hora.

A web search of the newspaper's website found no mention of the woman's death or the discovery of a decapitated female body on Saturday.

But on the website Nuevo Laredo en Vivo, a banner image appeared memorializing a member known as NenaDLaredo. "You'll always be present," the display says.

At Saturday's grisly scene, the message left with Macias's body makes reference to the site and NenaDLaredo in particular, saying: "Nuevo Laredo en Vivo and social networking sites, I'm the Nena de Laredo, and I'm here because of my reports, and yours."

The message was tagged with multiple Z's, indicating a link to the violent Zetas cartel.

A blogger and Twitter user known as @OVEMEX, who said he is based in northern Mexico and monitors social media, told The Times via email Sunday: "Apparently, from checking out the forum, which for the most part has been moved to private, it is her. Or at least she has not come back online to dismiss her own decapitation."

Social media sites have been essential outlets for Mexicans seeking to monitor or report on violent incidents and other activities linked to organized crime, as local news organizations frequently silence themselves under pressure from political or criminal forces. Primera Hora, for instance, is said to be a property of Nuevo Laredo's mayor, the daily Excelsior reported (link in Spanish).

The shift toward crowd-sourced drug-war reporting in Mexico has resulted in tension between social media users and local governments. The state of Veracruz attempted to try a man and woman for terrorism and sabotage for allegedly igniting a panic over attacks on schools in late August. The government later dropped the charges.

Earlier this month, two people were found mutilated and hanging from a Nuevo Laredo bridge alongside messages threatening social media users, but whether those victims were killed for posting messages on the Internet has not been corroborated by authorities or reliable news outlets.

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15 Borderland Beat Comments:

Anonymous said...

You died for your country Nena. RIP

Anonymous said...

no comments on blog del narco anymore.

ajulio said...

"Or at least she has not come back online to dismiss her own decapitation." Good one Ovemex.

Glad to hear your voice is being heard by popular media sources in the U.S.

You speak for all of us.

Anonymous said...

Nuevo Laredo needs to recruit the group from Veracruiz,do a little Z house cleaning. Hope it was the military or a paramilitary group, in VeraC hopoe that it spreads and the cutie pie Z group is exterminated ASAP.

John said...

I'm sure already thought of this, but with OVEMEX being quoted in major papers recently, just be on your toes man and make sure to always use proxies to log in. If you need assistance on how to cover your electronic tracks, email me at johncov@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Heroes!!!!!!!
There is hope for Mexico, yet. Someday, Mexico will have to honor the many "ordinary" people who died and risked their lives to fight evil, corruption, and decadence.

Are Mexicans using the modern tools of the internet to fight evil? Yes!!!

Watch out drug cartels, corrupt law enforcement, lawyers, politicians, bureaucrats, business people, and the rich exploiters of the poor. Your days are numbered!
Mexico Watcher

Anonymous said...

Users should learn how to use TOR. https://www.torproject.org/ Using tor may not protect from packet level monitoring at the local isp but it will make posts to websites and blogs appear to be coming from other addresses, typically overseas. Just a suggestion for those posting things that may be subject the poster to violence.

Anonymous said...

RIP Nena de Laredo!

Anonymous said...

Regarding TOR at 9:58:
Could you expand a bit more on your suggestion? I am interested in doing more in a safe and secure way. I am sure others here would like to know how to avoid detection in our posts.

Mexico Watcher

Anonymous said...

@Mexico Watcher

Tor is web browser what uses several anonymous proxies around the world when you write to forums with it. That makes is slower than normal browser, but very much harder to track. If I got it right, it circulates your message around the world before destination.
You can read about it on their www-page or google it.

There's also dividual software for hiding/faking your IP-address, You find those with google.

Anonymous said...

Nena, que el Señor la tenga en su santa gloria y paz.

For safer browsing:
http://www.onetipaday.com/2006/12/15/list-of-ad-free-proxy-sites/
http://adfreeproxy.com/

http://www.nedproxy.com

Some have annoying ads though but are free.

Anonymous said...

quote
has not been corroborated by authorities or reliable news outlets.
unquote

There are no reliable authorities or reliable news outlets!!!

Anonymous said...

@11:33
TOR is a protocol that makes you not detectable. The issue is that it takes longer to reach pages.
Basically, everything is encrypted (like in SSL), and nobody is able to make the link btw a content and an IP (unlike ssl whee the end server knows ur ip). Furthermore there are no logs.

In SSL (HTTPS) the server knows your IP, which is at one time identifying uniquely your PC. This is not true with TOR, the IP seen by the server (which knows which content you are reading or posting) is not yours, but the one from another relay workstation, which is absolutely not able to check the content, and which does not know neither your IP, but the IP of another relay station on the road to you. The routing table btw u and the server is dynamic, distributed and erased just after. On your own pc, your TOR appli will take into account only the packets it needs, and route to other peers encrypted packets (that you cannot access because of the strong encrypption) of other users...

You have 2 known issues for TOR:
1) when packets get out of the TOR nw to the "real" ineternet, a probe could get these especially if the targetted server is not able to support SSL (but again this is absolutely not possible to tell with the NW protocols information where the packets are coming from)

2) a Trojan or looking like on you PC could understand what you r doing. To prevent this, u can use a live key/CDs....

From France, hoping that it could be usefull for you there.
Courage.

Anonymous said...

Would every-one please pass the word to all fellow bloggers to please use some kind of proxy to cover your IP address when posting any type of vital information.

May you RIP Marisol. My prayers go out to you and your family.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to the expert advisers on identity security. Given the risks in Mexico from organized crime and government corruption, the information should be published in Spanish and distributed widely.

Mexico Watcher

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