Thursday, September 15, 2011

Ruh-roh. Maybe we should stop blogging about Mexican trucks

The Washington Post tells us why. The vicious drug cartels are threatening, torturing and murdering people who use social media to report on drug violence.

They tortured and hanged a young man and woman from a bridge in Nuevo Laredo. Next to their bodies was a handmade sign warning "Internet busybodies" that the same thing could happen to them. Two websites that report on drug violence were named.

Reports the Post, 
As journalists who cover crime are harassed, killed, beheaded and exiled, many news organizations in the conflict zones have virtually stopped reporting on murder and mayhem. Publishers acknowledge they are self-censoring as even the largest media owners in Mexico report frequent, credible threats — and even grenade attacks — against themselves and their employees.
More than 40 reporters have been killed in Mexico since 2004, and many more have disappeared.
Into the vacuum in Mexico comes social media, as citizen bloggers and tweeters post news, rumors and updates about military blockades, gunfights and helicopters overhead.
“It’s becoming a pattern in many cities where there is widespread violence,” said Carlos Lauria, head of the Americas program at the Committee to Protect Journalists. “The criminal gangs exert control over the press. The media stops. And in the absence of news, ordinary citizens turn to Twitter and Facebook to fill the void.”
Just another reason to keep the border closed to Mexican trucks.