Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

Blogger on Mexico Cartel Beheading: "Cannot Kill Us All"

Wednesday, November 9, 2011 |

Four social media users now have been killed recently, apparently for tracking drug gangs .

msnbc.com staff and news service reports

Another blogger has been decapitated, purportedly in retaliation for postings about drug cartels, prompting users of social network sites to unite in their stance against the gangs.

..The gruesome slaying on Wednesday is believed to be the fourth since early September in which a drug cartel killed people in Nuevo Laredo for what they said online.

"This happened to me for not understanding that I shouldn't report on the social networks," said a placard left with the man's body at a busy intersection in Nuevo Laredo, according to The Houston Chronicle.

Nuevo Laredo, across the border from Laredo, Texas, has been dominated for about the last two years by the violent Zetas drug cartel.

The victim was described as 35 and identified on social networking sites by the nickname El Rascatripas or "belly scratcher."

The victim reportedly posted updates on the Zetas' activities and had collaborated with slain journalist Mary Elizabeth Macias, 39, who was butchered in the same manner and dumped in the same spot, El Universal.com reported.

Bloggers and users of online chatrooms reacted with shock.

"I'm doing some digging on it now," blogger Oscar Villanueva emailed msnbc.com on Wednesday. "I am also helping and working with my Twitter circle in creating a Twitter manifesto, calling out for us to unite, continue denouncing, and we will be offering tips on how to continue doing so safely and effectively."

Villanueva, who blogs on Borderland Beat, added, "THESE DEATHS WILL NOT BE IN VAIN...They cannot kill us all!!"

Mexican citizens have been increasingly relying on social media chatrooms and sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, as traditional media self-censor in the face of cartel violence.

Bloggers who cover cartels have been increasingly at risk.

In September, police found Macias' decapitated body alongside a handwritten sign saying she was killed in retaliation for postings on a social networking site. The message was signed with a "Z," the Zetas' trademark.

Earlier that month, the bodies of a man and a woman were found dangling from an overpass in Nuevo Laredo with a message threatening, "this is what will happen" to trouble-making Internet users.

'Killings, torture'

But according to a new report, the cartels are not the only side committing atrocities in Mexico's drug war, which President Felipe Calderon launched in late 2006.

Human Rights Watch in an investigation released Wednesday accused the Mexican government of torture, forced disappearances and extra-judicial killings in its war against organized crime.

The report outlines misconduct at all levels of authority, from prosecutors who give detainees prewritten confessions to sign, to medical examiners who classify beatings and electric shock as causing minor injuries.

Only 15 soldiers have been convicted out of the 3,671 investigations launched by military prosecutors into alleged human rights violations by soldiers against civilians from 2007 to June 2011, according to the report. Not a single soldier or state official has been convicted in any of more than 200 cases the New York-based organization documented in the report.

The report says it documented 170 cases with credible evidence of torture, including waterboarding, electric shocks and asphyxiation, 39 forced disappearances and 24 cases of extra-judicial killings by security forces. The investigators said they only used cases in which victims' accounts could be corroborated by eyewitnesses, medical reports, coinciding testimony by people with no connections to each other or official investigations.

Human Rights Watch investigators met with Calderon, the country's interior secretary, attorney general and leaders of the armed forces to present the report. Calderon said in a statement Wednesday that he would form a joint working group with Human Rights Watch to analyze the findings.

But he added that criminals are the biggest threat to the human rights of Mexicans and said his government has the legal and ethical obligation to employ every method at its disposal to establish authority in communities where drug gangs are warring.

The drug war had claimed more than 35,000 lives by the end of 2010. The government hasn't issued new figures since then, although news media and other groups put the number at more than 43,000.

The Associated Press contributed to this report compiled by msnbc.com's Sevil Omer.

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12 Borderland Beat Comments:

Anonymous said...

....THERE ARE SOME PEOPLE LEFT IN THESE WORLD THAT STAND--BOLDLY--COURAGEOUSLY--FEARSELY--FOR HUMANITY...
...someone said to me once,"there are no more people to be examples for the young, but, i say there IS, and these people who have died despite, their afflictions, are HEROS FOR MEXICO, and they do make a difference in the minds of some, and there legacy LIVES ON....
...Hebrew scolars say the letter "yod is representive of the GODS CREATION, (INTERESTING ENOUGH, THE LETTER LOOKS ALOT LIKE DNA(HELIX CURVE)..And how appropiate that all that GOD CREATED.... HUMAN BEINGS AND NATURE HAS DNA...
...SOME DESTROY, and OTHERS-- fight the fight of EVIL, KNOWING THE CONSEQUENCES, and for that, i acknowledge them...

Anonymous said...

Do you really have to put that cartel infused human rights violation piece here? Yes, any battle will have his problems on both sides, but what the military does is a far cry of the beastly (sorry animals) depravity of the cartels. Stop speaking as if they are victims. Anything that comes to them is deserved. You have to be and act human to claim human rights. Only when they stop this senseless torturing and killing of innocent citizens they deserve concern about their human rights.

Anonymous said...

Waterboarding ?

I think this is legal.
The US soldiers do this to their enemy.

Anonymous said...

The cartels are hyped up narcos using narcos. I'm surprised they even CARE what is blogged about them. What a bunch of pussies!!!!! "Awwww....you hurt my feelings so me and my psycho friends have to kill you and cut off your head...."

Anonymous said...

Villanueva, o yes they can kill all

Anonymous said...

This article shows how thin the line is between being a good guy and a bad guy, I'm sure when the cartel kills your family and hangs them from a bridge your not worried about the legalities of the "drug war". I want to bash liberals, who we all know are running the HRW commission. On the other hand you do need accountability.

Anonymous said...

To the stupid ones who kill bloggers:

Kill my ass, mofos...I will then become the flick on your ear ringing and the bead of sweat running down the crack of your butt that you have to scratch in public, when you are most trying to be quiet and make no furtive movements.

You did yourself a disservice to change the form of people that care. Every caring person you think you have done away with becomes stronger after your nasty deeds are done.

You loop us all together and your knitting will be your downfall. We think beyond your limited world.

We have children to protect from your bad ways. We even take care of your children after you are dead, because you will fade when you die and they will need help, because your money and your threats will do nothing for them after you sleep in a box forever

I can't wait to haunt your a++. I hope you live long enough to experience me in a dead form.

Ajlounyinjurylaw said...

Sick behavior.

Anonymous said...

The motherfuckers who are terrorizing the Mexican people with AKs/AR15s in convoys,who burn old ladies in bingo halls,stop children from attending school,dismember people,torture people,have given up their claim to human rights.And if i hear another whining bitch banging on about their human rights,i,ll give you sad bastards some human rights abuses.So please fuck off with your weak arse bleeting,and stop thinking everyone will applaud your phony ideals.

Tyler said...

Beheading that's great these kids are coming over here trying to teaching us respect for mexico but now its just not working.

Anonymous said...

Dont be stupid ppl. When it comes to cartel shut the fuk up!!

Anonymous said...

ok I really like how u speak e lets it super straight and u no I really no who u are ... remember ..... hatred god even forgave u ... to so called golden boy ... now the roth that is so eat up the pizza

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