Hearts & Minds

While the Zetas follow Pablo Escobar’s example and throw parties for kids, there ain’t no party for Mexican bloggers.

A Facebook page in Mexico that updates people on roadblocks, shootouts and other risky drug war situations in the border state of Tamaulipas has registered 100,000 followers in only a month.

It’s also attracted some less savory attention: Alleged criminals now appear to be on the lookout for the anonymous administrator behind the page.

The Facebook page, called Valor por Tamaulipas (Courage for Tamaulipas), was launched on January 1. Last week, an unidentified group started to distribute fliers in several municipalities of Tamaulipas, offering 600,000 pesos — about $47,000 — for any information that would lead to the capture of the blogger behind Valor Por Tamaulipas, or any of this person’s relatives. The unsigned message includes a cellphone number that potential bounty hunters can call…

In September 2011, Elizabeth Macias Castro, chief editor for the daily newspaper “Primera Hora,” was found decapitated in a public plaza near Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas. A message was attached to her body accusing her of collaborating with the army and marine intelligence services by posting updates about criminal activities in the city on her personal blog.

Two weeks before, a couple in their twenties, identified as Twitter users by local authorities, were found hanging from a bridge in Nuevo Laredo. A message was left at the crime scene warning everyone to keep away from social media sites that openly criticize drug cartels.

Eventually, as the Mexican Cartels come to dominate the U.S. drug distribution business, the above dynamic will ‘immigrate’ to the U.S. as well, and U.S. bloggers will be frightened into silence.

Similarly, in time I fully expect local law enforcement in U.S. border cities to become completely in the grip of the Cartels, as they are in Mexico.

Si! Se puede!

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