Blog dedicated to reporting on Mexican drug cartels
on the border line between the US and Mexico

Saturday, May 25, 2013

"Lucy" is accused of profiting from reporters' work

Proceso  (May 20, 2013) written by Juan Alberto Cedillo

Translated by un vato for Borderland Beat

SALTILLO, Coah. (apro).-- The United States news portal Fronteras and a group of Mexican journalists, who asked to remain anonymous for safety reasons, downplayed the work  carried out by "Lucy", the purported administrator of Blog del Narco who just last Thursday, the 16th, announced her departure from the country after the disappearance of one of her co-workers, a systems analyst.

In its opinion, the administrator of the popular site -- which stopped working on May 1 after the arrest of Ines Coronel, the father in law of Joaquin El Chapo Guzman -- has for three years been engaged in copying and pasting reporters' or newspapers' information without giving them their corresponding credit.

Even so, it says, even before she left the country, Lucy was portraying herself as "the only" person capable of publishing information about the violence in Mexico, when the only thing she does is to "pirate information" from reporters, electronic portals and newspapers.

Based on this, the U.S. news portal and reporters from the north (of Mexico) have no doubt that Lucy is profiting with information from real reporters who every day "risk their skins" to write their stories that, in addition, she presents as her own in her recently published book, "Morir por la Verdad" (To die for the truth).

Fronteras carried out an investigation  on the notes published by Blog del Narco before it stopped working and came to this conclusion:

"A review of recent news stories by our team shows that the owners of Blog del Narco have published the same stories as Mexican journalists who the blog says it has had to replace."

In its analysis, the U.S. news site asserts that the Blog  reports exactly the same news as reported by Mexican journalists, but despite that, Lucy says in her book that "they (Blog del Narco) are the only ones who report the truth in Mexico."

"The Blog del Narco is stealing the work of legitimate reporters who risk their lives to write their own stories. However, now the Blog del Narco sells itself as last vestige of honest journalism in the country," according to Fronteras.

From its point of view, everything is the work of the publisher, Feral House, which published the book, "Morir por la Verdad", where Lucy is portrayed as a heroic 20-year old who is fighting alone to denounce the narcos who are placing her life at risk, given that the rest of Mexico's journalists have surrendered to their threats.

Feral House began to sell that story to several U.S. media to promote the book. In that campaign, Lucy declared to a station in Texas: "Journalism in Mexico died a long time ago." And to the Al Jazeera Arabic television network, she said: "If I didn't do it, nobody was going to do it."   

In fact, that propaganda, which was aimed at a foreign public, was taken up again by the British journal "The Guardian", to whom Lucy claimed that the Blog del Narco "came in to fill the vacuum left by its intimidated journalist colleagues." 

It was precisely that British journal which published the news that Lucy decided to leave the country and take refuge in Spain, after a Blog del Narco systems analyst disappeared.

However, Lucy had already lied with respect to alleged threats made against her when she claimed that the Blog del Narco was mentioned in the "narcomantas" (cloth banners) that appeared in Nuevo Laredo after the murder of "La Nena de Nuevo Laredo" (Nuevo Laredo Babe) and two young people who were reporting the activities of Los Zetas on social networks.  

Nowhere in any of the mantas that were hung that day was there any mention of Blog del Narco. Also, there is no evidence that any organized crime group has threatened its administrators. On the contrary, some cartels view it as a platform to send messages, because they are always sending it anonymous videos, contents of "narcomantas," etc. 

The alleged threats are substantiated only by Lucy's words, a person who lies about essential matters, and are in contrast with the threats that organized crime sent against the "Valor por Tamaulipas" Facebook page.

In the case of Valor por Tamaulipas, there is not just the evidence of threats on a flyer that was distributed in Ciudad Victoria and other parts of the state.  There is also the web page "Antivalor por Tamaulipas" where the narcos are trying to counter citizens' reports that appear on the site  they are trying to close down.

Organized crime groups offered 600,000 pesos for the head of the the Valor por Tamaulipas administrator because of the constant denunciations made by the residents themselves, identifying the areas where criminals are extorting, kidnapping or charging protection money.

Journalists from the northern part of the country, who asked not to be identified, also denounced the plagiarism of their stories on reports that appear in Blog del Narco without the signature or medium that produced it, which constitutes a crime.

Proceso confirmed that some of its reports on Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon, Coahuila and other areas where organized crime groups predominate appeared on Blog del Narco without giving credit to the magazine.

There are also reports, including editorials, which were published in the newspapers Reforma, Excelsior or La Jornada, to mention just a few.

Among the journalists that condemn the Blog's plagiarism is Temoris Geko, a Mexican war correspondent who recently covered the war in Libya.

"I have covered wars, revolutions and conflicts in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. But I have an enormous respect for my fellow journalists who cover organized crime and drug trafficking subjects in Mexico," said Greko.

He says that he can go into a dangerous area and get out if things get too ugly. "My fellow journalists live in dangerous areas, their parents live there, their children go to school there, all that they have in their lives depends on what happens in those dangerous areas. And despite all that, the continue to perform their jobs."

The Blog del Narco, he said, not only plagiarizes from these fellow journalists, but it also diminishes them, despises them, and what's more, it says they do not even exist, that the aforementioned Blog by itself does the tasks that everybody else has abandoned. "And it says all this to earn money," he concludes.  

Last April 28, the journal Proceso, (No. 1904) published a report titled: "The Blog del Narco and the Twenty-Year Old Woman Who Runs It."  

From the underground, Lucy defends her work, talks about her fears and distances herself from any mafia and declares: One has to be objective even with cartels.

-- Is it appropriate to become a forum for messages between cartels or a replicator or transmission drive for whatever drug traffickers want to disseminate? -- asks reporter Homero Campa to the woman.

-- I'll answer you with another question: Is it appropriate for communications media to also exchange those messages for politicians? They don't pay me, but they pay them. A politician pays them to denounce and counterattack another and tell him he's a fool. "Is it ethical, then, for political parties to pay newspapers and radio stations to air a thousand spots that say: "Don't vote for this politician because he's a crook"? That's immoral. Traditional communications media are receiving money when supposedly they have an obligation to report with objectivity."

Lucy defends the type of information that the Blog del Narco disseminates. They are "real situations that are taking place," she says. Furthermore, "we must be objective," that is, publish without making any distinction between what one cartel or another says.

-- If you publish a "narcomanta" from a cartel, do you have to publish ("narcomantas") from all of them?

-- Exactly. We have to be objective. That is, we have to be objective with the narcos, too.

Lucy came into the public arena on April 4, when the British Journal, The Guardian, revealed that the Blog del Narco is run from anonymity by a young Mexican woman, the author of the book "Morir Por la Verdad: Encubiertos dentro de la violenta guerra contra las drogas en Mexico" (To die for the truth: Undercover inside the violent war against drugs in Mexico)".

"Who am I? I'm a twenty-year old woman, I live in northern Mexico, I'm a journalist, I'm a woman, single, I don't have children and I love Mexico," said the person in the Guardian interview, who also who used the name "Lucy."

"I don't think people would have imagined that a woman does this (...) It's a hard blow for Mexican machismo and to the idea that women are weak, more delicate," she added.

The Guardian pointed out that the Blog del Narco has become an "Internet sensation" that places its readers "in the front row" of the war against drugs that is being fought in Mexico. It held that it is mandatory reading for authorities, cartels and common citizens because it "uncovers, day after day, the terrible violence that is censored by principal communications media."

On April 11, a copy of the book "Morir por la Verdad" arrived at the Proceso newsroom. The image of the wife of Beltran Leyva in captivity illustrates the cover of the book. A yellow ribbon, similar to those used by the police to cordon off a crime scene, warns: "Warning! Crime scene photos inside. Not suitable for minors."

The 380-page book contains "edited and updated versions of reports" that appeared in the Blog del Narco from March 2, 2010, to February 25, 2011. It alternates these reports with photographs of people who have been executed, decapitated, dismembered, burned and cut to into pieces, and with videos of torture or interrogation of gunmen or police.

Along with the book, there was a letter from Lucy which advised that she would remain anonymous but that she would be available to give interviews.

Proceso interviewed her via Skype on Sunday (May) 14. She used an electronic voice distorter, and the screens of both the interviewer and interviewee remained blank.

During the interview, Lucy recounts that the Blog del Narco came out in March of 2010 in response to a campaign launched by Felipe Calderon's government and traditional media to minimize violence that had exploded in several parts of the country.

"They said nothing was happening, that people were giving in to fear, that they were imagining things, that people were lying, that they were trying to attract attention. Obviously, that was outrageous, because they were not people who were trying to attract notice, they were victims. So then  the blog was like an information window and a mechanism for people not to feel so alone," she declares.

During the interview, Lucy is asked what are the criteria she has established to disseminate information and images: Does she add the information she receives to the blog, or does she report and conduct interviews? How can she tell whether the information she receives is true or false?

Lucy evades the questions. She maintains that, "because of safety concerns," she will not discuss the blog's "internal procedures." However, she asserts that with the passage of time she has created a contacts list and a procedure for testing the information. She explains that this consists of comparing the new facts that she receives with previous incidents in her files; if they match or fit within the time frame, the information becomes credible for her.

In the introduction to the book, Lucy points out: "The large majority of the Mexican press turned their backs on us. Some journalists spread lies that organized crime groups put out the Blog del Narco; others said they were financing the site. We have never favored or opposed any criminal group. We have simply told the truth in the best way possible."

-- How do we know that you are really in charge of Blog del Narco? How do we know that behind the blog there isn't somebody form a drug trafficking cartel? 

-- I don't think that somebody from a criminal group has time to write a book or to give an interview to you and to other media. I don't believe he would have time for a lot of things. They are very busy people -- she answers.

Then she denies she in tied to drug trafficking cartels. "I'm telling you this calmly because I'm not worried. I respect the fact that you think that and everybody can believe whatever they want, but I'm unworried because I am not. I haven't received one cent from the government or from anybody else."

When the reporter insists, she responds: I don't know what you want...To come to my House? To meet my family? I'm not going to do that. That is, it's your problem whether you believe I'm the person who administers the blog; that's not my problem..."

-- What you're saying is that we have to trust your word? 

-- I trust people's words a lot; for me it is more valuable than money (...) 

-- Is it ethical and journalistically valid to pass on rumors from anonymous sources?

-- Sources are sources. Maybe for you they are rumors, but when we put out some information, we have other facts that validate it. 

More than twenty days after that interview, Lucy announced that she was leaving the country out of fear she would be murdered. 


  1. Blog del Narco was one of the first blogs out there where we could get all kinds of narco news and narco video. I known all along that she was copying and pasting info from differnet sources without giving credit but that's for journalists/reporters/newspapers/haters to discuss. I am glad Lucy did what she did when nobody had the guts or brains to do it

    1. I'll go along with you. She may not have put credits but she supplied information and filled a niche. Too much venom over this

  2. BDN are thieves pure and simple, but now lying about working with the dead reporters and profiting from their deaths is plain disgusting.

  3. reply to 6:03
    not so, you see ALL the posts were taken directly from Universal, Milenio, etc copy and pasted anyone could have read the stories where they originated, all the reporters ask is credit, especially since they ARE the ones DYING FOR THE TRUTH not these wealthy Mty tec brats making money since the beginning first with flashy ads and porn and now a book. It is wrong anyway you spin it. 90+ reporters have been killed and more disappeared, it is their posts stolen by BDN and not even a little authors name to give them credit.

  4. BB has always been hating on BdN.

    1. I agree! BDN was BB's competition. BB, keep doing what you're doing and don't worry about Lucy. You guys are still good, no need to throw dirt on others, just makes you look bad.

  5. can you read dumb-ass? the article is written by Proceso, there are many articles in Mexico about this now. The Mexican reporters hate BDN, you would to if someone stole your work and made a profit off of it. If you were employed that is.

  6. It sucks that she is profiting from others hard work. She should at least quote where she receives her news from. With that said, I only need to go to two website, which are Borderlandbeat and Sorry!

  7. If I invent something and I patent it, that is register it as my invention with the government, then I expect to be the only to reap the rewards of my labor. Whether it is money or I start to receive kudos for what I created with my own mind. I would demand royalties from my invention if somebody started making money off of my invention. Sort of like musicians when a record company sells their music or other artists borrow a lyric/beat. Likewise reporters, journalists, newspapers, writers, etc. A journalists story or report is their creation. They deserve to get credit for their labor

  8. Lucy or who ever the fuk is behind BDN must be feeling the heat. I hope they take him or her to the cleaners.


  9. What's the difference if they copy and paste and give credit to the reporters. Its still plagiarizing either way

    1. If you give credits, it is not pertending that you wrote it. It is exhibiting who originally created it. So it isn't stealing. There is a difference.

  10. The significance should not be lost on any reader that the name "Lucy" is used as a nom de plume.

    "Lucy" was also the name of a network of Soviet spies inside Hitler's government, anonymous to this day, which kept Stalin closely informed on the German High Command's intentions, thereby helping Stalin defeat Germany in WWII.

    BDN was useful to me as a source to fill in the blanks -- which were very few -- in narco news in Mexico, but I very much doubted back then (circa 2010 to 2011) (and even said so at the time) the notion that Mexican journalism was not reporting the news.

  11. the vibe i got from the page was pretty dull it was more of a forum like a tame best-gore, mostly still around because it posted execution vids, plus a little porn thrown in as well.. ddn was nothing special but if you were looking for something crazy in pics or video it was probably there.., i didnt see any top notch stuff like you do here...

  12. 12:48

    You are missing the entire point. There is not competition, we are non profit. It is not about BB, yes their practices are annoying but it is not about me or BB, is about the reporters that died, like Regina Martinez, BDN stole her work and claimed it as theirs, then lied by saying well yes they did not write the work but they posted it for the reporters who could not, that is a lie all the reporters posted the articles the stole on the news outlets they work for and BDN copied and pasted. They are presenting themselves as heroes while the real heroes are those that were killed. All to sell a book. Creating a fictional character of Lucy, a woman did not began BDN, it was a group of male students in Mty. One commenter had it correct they made money from the beginning, and that is a huge distinction, making money off the work of others is wrong.

    It does not make us look bad at all. BB is very respected, it makes you look silly and blind that you cannot see the entire picture, what you say I could care less about, myself and other reporters, the group of Mexican reporters and the frontera group of reporters are all together in this injustice, disgusted that anyone would be so corrupt as to make money washed in the blood of those that died.

  13. That's right Chivis, it is wrong on all levels but particularly because they are profiting from the work of others, including yours and that is the context that people should focus on. More importantly, saying money washed in the blood of those reporters, is on point. I liked bdn to get a digest of news but always knew it was not their work, I would see the same article in El Universal or Proceso and think ok this is where there copied it but I never stopped to think about the fact they were profiting and then the book was published and all the lies, it should anger everyone if they respect the reporters that have died for reporting the truth.

    Have you read article 19? That makes it lawful to reprint articles as long as author credit and no profit.

  14. poor little lucy Great article Vato, you and BB are doing a great job. Assassins in Texas

  15. Hahahahahahaha,why dont you steal this article "Lucy" ??? nah didnt think so,haha.

  16. the point is "copy and paste" and claiming it as yours by not giving credit, I mean the videos and pictures taken from other media sources have the BDN brand all over them as if they belong to them, they dont. There was a time when you hit the site thdy had all kinds os ads like porn and adware loaded to your computer because they truly did not care about the reader, just the bottom line, profit. During a rare interview of Buggs he said about BB that he did not give a shit about profit and limited ads to just two little banners enough to pay some of the cost and not clutter the page. Hell some of the administrators of BB have terminated reporters for refusing to provide credit to the source, we saw it on forum. Some day the whole truth about BDN will come out and all the believers of the alleged "Lucy" will see how they were fooled by someone who wanted to maximized her profit from the sale of a book that came 100% from articles originally published online by Mexican agencies. Who cares? Any decent honest human being should!

  17. What did you think would happen? Its the internet get over it
    Maybe if yall owned a newspaper or magazine

  18. Ever thought maybe Lucy and BDN is ran by narcos???

  19. If I was a reporter id be pissed but fk her xo what yall do, thats in any business
    Narco or report
    Good Story UV

  20. Cdg was supposed to be behind BDN a reporter said that a couple years ago, but who knows, what I do know is putting it in the perspective of earning money off reporters that died fries my ass.

    BB does not make money on the blog and as far as I know, the reporters are volunteers who write original posts and translates to English the spanish articles found in Mexico, I always see the original source named in those cases and I think just doing that is probably good enough.

    You BDN why are you here? go to BDN and stay there, though they have stopped reporting according to this post as soon as the book came out. I for one am very pleased they have been outed for the thieves they are.

    Badanov BB has been around since 2009, but there has always been the articles found in Mexican newpapers such as Proceso, Jornado, AFN, Zeta, Diario and all the others, bdn did not fill a void.

    RIP Fake Lucy

  21. Badanov BB has been around since 2009, but there has always been the articles found in Mexican newpapers such as Proceso, Jornado, AFN, Zeta, Diario and all the others, bdn did not fill a void.

    I started the month after BDN started. What's your point?

    And didn't say they filled a void. I said they filled in the blanks, for example, when a story from other sources had left out key elements, sometimes I could get those from BDN. Not always, but sometimes As I have said and have always said: the notion that Mexican journalism doesn't report on the calamity that is the drug war is fatuous.

    "Lucy" or whomever he/she is, is trying to sell books. It's not so unusual for an author to scam a publisher or the reading public to sell their product. Happens all the time in the USA, where the target audience is. He/she is filling the need of an audience that wants to believe in a stereotype that is long engrained in American psyche: that Mexicans are lazy and corrupt, and won't report news in their own backyard.

    When I started writing drug war news for, I was stunned, ** stunned **, at how vigorous Mexican press was in covering drug war news, especially in Ciudad Juarez.

    So imagine my and the surprise of Mexican journalists when BDN started way back in the summer of 2010 with the notion that they were reporting the news Mexican press were afraid to. So it came as no chock when Pena clamped down on the press over drug war news, they would shop their narrative the same way.

  22. esa era la pagina donde si salian notas buenas y no mamadas!

    Doz FronteraZ was a good webiste that posted good narco related news and not bullshit!

    Two BorderZ

  23. May 26, 2013 at 11:15 AM
    "RIP Fake Lucy"
    Can you imagine how many comments are not being allowed on here because it does not suit the moderators opinion?Opinions such as this fools"RIP Fake Lucy"does?
    Surprise,surprise,this is chivis pet project"the hate ob BDN project"Look at how many supportive comments about BDN are here,and look at the venom filled ones?Hugely outnumbered?Many comments have been dropped.

  24. comment of 11:15 AM
    mods why post this shit?
    In the beginning there were equal support and against comments I was one of support-I did not think it was a big deal but now that so many articles are talking about how wrong it is and how it is the dead reporters that are the reasons we should be pissed, then I reconsidered and I will not buy to book or support them in any way.

    are you the long island medium or something that you know what comments come in? You are a mental case to be so hateful without anything to support your ignorant comment. Chivis did not write the post and she did not post it she had her say and said she does not care who agrees it is about reporters who died for writing not thieves who lie and steal. I agree with this now.

  25. Nothing different than what Borderland Beat does. If you aren't in Mexico, you are using someone elses information you found elsewhere.


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