An internet video has threatened to expose allies of Mexico‘s Zetas drug cartel in the local police and news media unless the gang frees a kidnapped member of the international hacker movement known asAnonymous.
The YouTube message, which claims to be from Anonymous “Veracruz, Mexico, and the world”, says it is “tired of the criminal group the Zetas, which is dedicated to kidnapping, stealing and extortion”, and threatens to fight back with information instead of weapons. It said it knows of police officers, journalists, taxi drivers and others working with the Zetas.
The video refers to an unidentified person kidnapped in the coastal city of Veracruz, and says: “You have made a great mistake by taking one of us. Free him.”
Tag Archives: Los Zetas
A new group of armed vigilantes, Los Mata Zetas (the Zeta Killers), has surface in Mexico to combat Los Zetas, arguably the most violent and ruthless of Mexico’s five major drug cartels, all of whom are waging a bloody battle for turf to control the drugs trafficked from Central and South America to consumers in the U.S. Some have argued that Los Mata Zetas are not a paramilitary group simply out to defend innocent and unarmed Mexicans, but rather another drug cartel looking to exploit the population’s fear and loathing of Los Zetas and win popular support.
Nevertheless, the rise of a group like the Mata Zetas raises troubling questions for ordinary Mexicans and the government: Is it a good thing when members of a bloodthirsty cartel known for murders, extortions, and kidnapping are themselves summarily killed by other criminals?
While Mexico’s federal government has condemned the killing, the response by Veracruz Gov. Javier Duarte was widely seen as more equivocal.
“It’s lamentable the assassination of 35 people, but it’s more so that these people had chosen to dedicate themselves to extortion, kidnapping and murder,” the governor wrote on his Twitter account a day after the event.
Forty-three thousand Mexicans have been killed in this drug war since 2006, and every tactic of the federal government to turn the tide has thus far fallen short. Would the government welcome this, or at least look the other way? What about the civilian population?
Jorge Chabat, a security analyst at the CIDE think tank in Mexico says that the emergence of illegal groups such as the Mata Zetas—perhaps with some help from local or national government authorities—wouldn’t be a surprise, given the level of violence inflicted by the Zetas on the Mexican population and the Mexican state’s inability to provide its citizens with protection.
Officials “would never tell you openly, but I wouldn’t be surprised if some sectors of government look the other way, and I fear that parts of the civilian population would also see this with approval,” he said.
It is an unfortunate measure, but will it be seen as necessary? Perhaps, at least until the U.S. ends the drug war by legalizing drugs.
We knew this would happen, but it is still troubling. The Blog del Narco (website in Spanish) is the best open source of information on the Mexican drug wars, with the goal of documenting the narco-violence in Mexico that until recently “was found in the shadows.” As the violence in Mexico has worsened, this blog, launched in March, 2010, has grown in popularity and influence, to the tune of more than 3 million hits weekly.
And now they are being targeted. As Al Jazeera reports:
The bodies of two young people have been found hanging from a bridge in northern Mexico accompanied by a hand-lettered sign warning social media users from reporting on violence.
The corpses of a young man and woman, dangling from a pedestrian walkway in the city of Nuevo Laredo near the US border, showed signs of torture and were badly mutilated, an official at the state prosecutor’s office said on Tuesday.
“Watch out, I’ve got my eye on you,” the placard said, according to photos from the scene, warning that the same would happen to all “scandal mongers” on the internet.
The placard was signed “Z”, a reference to the Zetas, a notorious drug gang that operates in the area.
The victims, who have not been identified, were aged between 20 and 25, said the official, who asked not to be named. Al Jazeera could not confirm if they were social media users.
Two popular websites covering the Mexico drug war, Blog del Narco and Frontera al Rojo Vivo, were mentioned and threatened on the placard.