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Mexican Cartel Beheads Another Blogger 536

Posted by timothy
from the more-effective-than-a-slapp dept.
sanzibar writes "The Zetas killed and beheaded an Internet blogger Wednesday in Nuevo Laredo, the fourth slaying in the city involving people associated with social media sites since early September. '"This happened to me for not understanding that I shouldn't report on the social networks," advised a note left before dawn with the man's body at a key intersection in the city's wealthier neighborhood. The victim, identified on social networking sites only by his nickname — Rascatripas or Belly Scratcher — reportedly helped moderate a site called En Vivo that posted news of shootouts and other activities of the Zetas, the narcotics and extortion gang that all but controls the city.'"
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Mexican Cartel Beheads Another Blogger

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  • by atari2600a (1892574) on Friday November 11, 2011 @07:58PM (#38030928)
    It'll just piss off Lulzsec more, who will cease doing it for the lulz & seek revenge...
  • Legalize Drugs (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 11, 2011 @08:01PM (#38030950)

    Legalize and regulate drugs. Put the cartels out of business.

  • by Alwin Henseler (640539) on Friday November 11, 2011 @08:04PM (#38030980) Homepage

    They don't need to... no need to rule the world, happy to be king in 'their' corner of it.

  • by Penguinisto (415985) on Friday November 11, 2011 @08:06PM (#38031008) Journal

    Just out of curiosity, what would constitute this revenge?

    Certainly outing and naming/shaming gang members is a good start, but perhaps breaking into and emptying certain gang-run bank accounts would be another?

    If ever there were opportunities for spear-phishing, this is certainly one of them.

  • by masternerdguy (2468142) on Friday November 11, 2011 @08:08PM (#38031028)
    Anon doesn't have the guts to face down people who don't respect the law. They can only protest here because the cops won't beat them, only (if they get loud) cart them to jail for the night for disturbing the peace.
  • corner ? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by unity100 (970058) on Friday November 11, 2011 @08:09PM (#38031030) Homepage Journal
    anon/lulzsec member in china or russia can harm them. what will mexican drug cartels do ? send a mexican to xiyghuan province, to behead the hacker ?
  • by Hatta (162192) on Friday November 11, 2011 @08:09PM (#38031032) Journal

    What I don't understand is why these bloggers aren't using the tools available to them to remain anonymous.

  • Maybe you haven't been paying attention, but it's already a war. In the few years of Calderon's term, enough Mexican population has been wiped out over the drug war that if you were to extrapolate the rate of murders to the American population, there'd be 400,000 dead americans. There's daily military activity -- hell, they just had to force mexican military past our border back into mexico last week. Check out the Mexican Drug War update on DRCNet.org.
  • Re:Legalize Drugs (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tool462 (677306) on Friday November 11, 2011 @08:11PM (#38031062)

    It would reduce a major form of funding, but there will still be a market in human trafficking and other activities. It will help, but it won't put them out of business.

  • Re:Legalize Drugs (Score:5, Insightful)

    by shutdown -p now (807394) on Friday November 11, 2011 @08:11PM (#38031068) Journal

    It's too late, the cartels are already exploring other business ventures, such as collecting a 50% "income tax" [neglectedwar.com]. Legalizing drugs will not help deal with them at that point, they need to actually be physically exterminated.

  • by masternerdguy (2468142) on Friday November 11, 2011 @08:19PM (#38031116)
    Simply put, their personal safety is at risk if they go protest the drug lords in Mexico. Nobody is going to do that, and if they do they should be entered in the running for the Darwin Awards. I hope they don't do that, because they will ALL get machine gunned into a trench after being tied together with telephone wire. On the other hand they can stick to their focus and protest big corporations and stuff here, instead of being executed. Dealing with those drug lords would require a military.
  • Re:Legalize Drugs (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 11, 2011 @08:25PM (#38031160)

    Of course it will help. It won't cause them to vanish overnight, but it will deprive them of a good-sized chunk of their income. Don't fall for the perfect-world fallacy.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 11, 2011 @08:34PM (#38031218)

    When the cartel controls the city, it can always control the infrastructure... how do you know these guys aren't being monitored? I'm sure the people with internet in their homes isn't so vast that they couldn't so a process of elimination and then spying on some people to get some corroboration. It's awful what they are doing and I hope some internet white knights come and kick their ass, but in reality, these guys are controlling the real world for that city .. they don't need to control the internet.

  • Re:Legalize Drugs (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tmosley (996283) on Friday November 11, 2011 @08:36PM (#38031234)
    They get the vast majority of their money from drugs, and use the smuggling networks they build for the one to move the other. The whole thing would collapse in a big hurry, and it would certainly get a LOT less violent.
  • Re:Possibly not (Score:5, Insightful)

    by n5vb (587569) on Friday November 11, 2011 @08:38PM (#38031248)

    Wired updated their story [wired.com] with an important caveat

    Our original report named “Rascatripas” as a forum moderator for Nuevo Laredo in Vivo. That’s now appears to be off-base. At least one local reporter says there’s “no proof” yet that the decapitated man found Wednesday was actually murdered for his online activity. And administrators for Nuevo Laredo en Vivo now say that “Rascatripas” wasn’t one of theirs. “Negative,” they tweet (thanks to Xeni Jardin for the translation, and for the tip). “He was not our partner, he is confirmed to have been a scapegoat to scare others. The person executed is not a collaborator with our site, but this was without doubt an attempt to silence the voices of Nuevo Laredo.”

    Which raises a very important and much lower-tech question: why would cartels be deterred by technical obstacles keeping them from identifying the real bloggers? Grab some random techy-looking guy off the street and kill him, and pin a note to him claiming he's a blogger with a warning to others not to report on cartel activities, and who'll know the difference locally? (And even if the actual bloggers are so thoroughly anonymized as to be undetectable .. that's got to make anyone on the street nervous about whether or not they're really anonymous..)

    Because there's more to real life than tech [xkcd.com] ..

  • Re:corner ? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by EdIII (1114411) on Friday November 11, 2011 @08:39PM (#38031252)

    Money is money. Hiring outside of your organization to kill somebody that is not even on your turf is not unheard of. The Russian gangs don't give two shits about what is going on in Mexico, and there are always shills.

    Money speaks louder than any allegiances or rivalries.

  • by flaming error (1041742) on Friday November 11, 2011 @08:41PM (#38031276) Journal

    > Dealing with those drug lords would require a military.

    Or a pen.

    "We hereby decriminalize all formerly controlled substances, and return to the Citizens their God-given right to plant, harvest, process, manufacture, buy, sell, snort, inject, swallow and/or smoke whatever narcotic, toxic, psychoactive, carcinogenic, radioactive, caustic, fungal or fecal matter they wish, as long as they limit exposure to willing, opt-in participants only."

    And just like that, the Zeta's will be out of business.

  • by ed1park (100777) <ed1park&hotmail,com> on Friday November 11, 2011 @08:43PM (#38031292)

    "On another note, the intelligence company known as Stratfor mentioned that if Anonymous sticks to its promise and actually publishes the names of those involved, it will "most certainly" lead to more deaths and could leave bloggers and others open to reprisal attacks by the cartel.[54] Mike Vigil, the retired head of the Drug Enforcement Administration, mentioned that "Los Zetas should take Anonymous seriously."[55] Moreover, Stratfor mentioned that Los Zetas also has experts in computer intelligence who are believed to track down the "anti-cartel" campaigns online,[56] which has made experts understand the high rate of journalist executions.[57] In addition, they mentioned that the Mexican drug cartels generally have people monitor forums, news websites, and blogs to help them be in touch with what is being published and with what could affect their interests.[58]"

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Los_Zetas_Cartel [wikipedia.org]

    Being a group comprised of Mexican Special Forces, politicians, judges, police, etc. with untold millions at their disposal, with no fear of leaving mass graves of hundreds of people (decapitated, tortured, etc), it seems that compromising a few ISP's or killing any outlet of information would not be difficult if they chose to focus on it. Nationally or internationally.

    Legalize drugs, and let their income of blood money vanish.

    And go watch Cocaine Cowboys 1 and 2. If we can't even keep drugs out of prisons, what the hell is the point?

  • by Alter_3d (948458) on Friday November 11, 2011 @08:50PM (#38031354)
    You make it look so simple. However, we are talking about violent sociopaths. If you cut off their main source of income, they will not just raise their hands and quit.
    They will simply expand their other illicit businesses, like extortion and kidnapping.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 11, 2011 @08:56PM (#38031390)
    I say we take off and nuke the entire country from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.
  • by Grishnakh (216268) on Friday November 11, 2011 @09:01PM (#38031422)

    Exactly. Not that we shouldn't legalize drugs anyway to help reduce the black market, but they're not going to go away overnight. If Mexico legalized drugs, it would have zero effect on the cartels, because they make their money by it being illegal in the USA. If they both legalized (fat chance!), they'd turn to other things; they've already got lots of power and money built up already, they're not going to just turn to legitimate businesses.

    The only way to deal with the drug cartels is with martial law and military strikes. The cartel people have leaders, and they live somewhere: drop bombs on them. When things get totally out of control like this, it's time to suspend the law and all civil liberties, and go to martial law, send in the troops, and start blowing things up. If Mexico's not willing to do that, then they should simply disband the government and allow the cartels to set up their own government.

  • by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Friday November 11, 2011 @09:08PM (#38031462)

    I'm just saying that it (or even complete legalization) will not be the death blow for the cartels - they have grown too powerful for that.

    As long as crime pays, there will be people who try to cash in on it.

    Some of those people will form groups to facilitate their crimes.

    Nothing will ever end "organized crime". But that doesn't matter as long as it is weaker than the central government. So that should be the first goal.

    Then, clean up the central government.

    I would be against legalizing stuff such as cocaine, however - that stuff is too easy to get hooked on, causes severe physiological (and not just psychological) dependency, and can make a man into a complete wreck in a matter of months.

    Anything that is illegal will generate revenue for organized crime.

    Legalize it.
    Localize it (grown in the USofA by Unionized farmers)
    Regulate it
    Tax it
    Take the tax revenue and fund free recovery clinics and anti-drug drives.

    There are LOTS of people out there who can use "recreational" drugs without negatively impacting society (aside from the money going to the cartels who KILL PEOPLE). The same as most of the people who buy alcohol don't go out and smash their cars into other cars.

    Tax the product so that the percentage of people who CAN use it responsibly pay for the treatment of those who CANNOT.

  • Re:Legalize Drugs (Score:5, Insightful)

    by khallow (566160) on Friday November 11, 2011 @09:17PM (#38031528)

    Right because organized crime died out in the US after prohibition.

    Prohibition didn't end drug use, gambling, prostitution, or illegal immigration.

    In the US the reason why the mob declined rapidly after prohibition ended had more to do with virtually all of the money in organized crime drying up. Not just most of the money, the American gangs also didn't have quite the grip on the US that the cartels in Mexico currently have.

    And guess what happens to the Mexican cartels when they too lose most of their money. They don't have any stronger a grip on Mexican cities than the Mob did on New York City or Chicago.

    People keep suggesting legalization but it's little more than rationalization of bad behavior. Preventing guns and munitions from flowing to Mexico would have a much more significant impact.

    Why is drug use "bad behavior"? And it's far more possible to do than prevent guns and munition from flowing to Mexico or being made in Mexico. Might as well prevent all crime while you're at it.

  • by mangamuscle (706696) on Friday November 11, 2011 @09:26PM (#38031594)
    You are out of the loop, YEARS ago they expendedinto extortion and kidnapping.
  • by Frosty Piss (770223) * on Friday November 11, 2011 @09:27PM (#38031604)

    However, legalization of drugs in Mexico wouldn't work. The USA would have to legalize at the same time.

    If Mexico legalized - not just decriminalized - at least Marijuana, the United States would have to follow suite. With cannabis available **legally** in every shop in every town within 200 miles of the border, the influx of regular normally law abiding Americans getting popped at the border for weed would overwhelm the "justice" system on the American side.

    Legalization would happen within two years.

    No Jail For Pot [nojailforpot.com]

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 11, 2011 @09:31PM (#38031644)
    Because organized crime just up and disappeared after Prohibition was ended, amiright?
  • by Fjandr (66656) on Friday November 11, 2011 @09:40PM (#38031694) Homepage Journal

    No, they didn't. They eventually integrated into a hybrid of legitimate business and white collar crime, for the most part. That is, until Prohibition II made it profitable to be extraordinarily violent again.

  • by Shoten (260439) on Friday November 11, 2011 @10:01PM (#38031834)

    I think you're missing the real point. These aren't random bloggers on the Internet, the sort that would say "oh wow, those Mexican criminals are bad," these are people who are local to the region, commenting on facts...in effect, acting as journalists. Reporters have already been murdered and threatened; it just follows that bloggers would get the same treatment.

    And if you think that "the complexity of the Internet" is much help, let me break down this situation to you:

    Bloggers: "Dear Mexican crime syndicates: we will tell other people what you are doing, that you are killing, kidnapping, extorting and selling drugs."

    Mexican crime syndicates: "Dear bloggers: we will torture you to death, and then dump your body in a public place as a message."

    That doesn't seem like a very symmetric exchange to me.

  • Dramatic Effect (Score:4, Insightful)

    by NicknamesAreStupid (1040118) on Friday November 11, 2011 @10:10PM (#38031902)
    This is one from the Osama bin Laden book of terrorism -- make every kill a spectacle. They probably know that people will find anonymous ways to replace Rascatripas. You can kill a person, but not an alias. In the mean time, they will try to scare everyone, a tactic of desperation.
  • Re:Legalize Drugs (Score:5, Insightful)

    by anagama (611277) <obamaisaneocon@nothingchanged.org> on Friday November 11, 2011 @10:37PM (#38032050) Homepage

    If you eliminate 80% of their funding, they can only be 20% bad -- not enough revenue for as many machine guns, not revenue for as many grenades, not enough revenue to pay off all the cops, not enough revenue to pay all the "troops". This last one could be especially juicy because they'd have a little internal power struggle to keep what is left and hopefully would go nuts offing each other.

    Cut out most of the money, and they'll shrink drastically. Once they get down to a certain size, they'll be easier to deal with. Suggesting that cutting off their funds would have no effect though, is nuts.

  • by cheekyjohnson (1873388) on Friday November 11, 2011 @10:38PM (#38032058)

    it's time to suspend the law and all civil liberties

    No thanks. I value civil liberties too much to give them up merely because of excuses or potential threats. The government saying "The drug cartels must be stopped," to me, is no different than replacing "drug cartels" with "terrorists."

  • by Fulminata (999320) on Friday November 11, 2011 @11:06PM (#38032216)
    Exactly, because we all know that it took martial law to break the backs of the mafia in post-prohibition America!

    It's true that the cartels wouldn't disappear overnight, but they would eventually follow the same path as the mafia. The smart ones would diversify into legitimate businesses and eventually leave most of their more disreputable past behind. The dumb ones would either fail to diversify, or else attempt to apply their violent methods to legitimate business. Either way, they would present a problem that could be more easily handled by law enforcement given that there would be fewer of them, and they would be, by definition, dumber.

    This is essentially what happened in post-prohibition America, which is the best model we have for what would happen should drugs be legalized.
  • by jotaeleemeese (303437) on Friday November 11, 2011 @11:18PM (#38032284) Homepage Journal

    This is not true.

    Although violence happens everywhere (including Mexico City, 2 beheaded men were found last week a few minutes down the road from my home in Mexico City) it is not generalized.

    Mexico City is certainly better than most, relatives of mine that live in Queretaro and Guadalajara report that these places remain peaceful to the point that some important companies are moving their local HQs there (Mexico City is getting just too crowded), the Yucatan peninsula (where Cancun is) is also quite peaceful (I have been there several times in the last 5 years and remains as enjoyable as ever).

    Most of the violence is, surprise, surprise, in the border zone and has spilled mostly to Northern states and important coastal ones (Veracruz, Guerrero, Sinaloa) which are important routes of the drugs being trafficked to the US.

    Mexico just organized the Soccer U-17 world cup and the Panamerican Games, amongst many other events, we have a working democracy (certainly threatened by the drug dealing business) and a vibrant cultural scene. To compare Mexico with Somalia just comes to show that some people really need to travel and read a bit more.

  • by BetterSense (1398915) on Friday November 11, 2011 @11:33PM (#38032354)
    I don't know either way, but it is possible that the "blogger" that was killed just some unlucky sap picked out to be an example. Bloggers giving your cartel bad publicity? Why go to the trouble of tracking an individual down when you can just kill someone and put a note on him? It's not necessary that he be the/an actual blogger; as long as people think he was killed for being one. Power perceived is power achieved.
  • by rtb61 (674572) on Friday November 11, 2011 @11:34PM (#38032356) Homepage

    So in reality the problem is not Mexico at all, it is the US forcing those drug laws on other countries. It looks very much like that destablisation is done on purpose to prevent those other countries from becoming to competitive. So it looks like to solve the Mexico and the whole of South America drug problem you have to deal with the real trouble makers, the United States government, corrupted by lobbyist bagmen for the various corporation who profit by the continued civil war on drug users.

    So far better to find and target the actuall individuals who force the continuation of the drug war. It seems the only solution is to make their live a misery so those asshats will stop making hundreds of millions of other peoples lives a misery. It is seriously fucked up to think the insensinate greed of few hundred individuals is causing pain and suffering to hundreds of millions of people, psychopathic 'corporate executives, lobbyists and politicians', what a boon to society they are, 'NOT'.

  • by IonOtter (629215) on Friday November 11, 2011 @11:35PM (#38032360) Homepage

    Many of the people reading and commenting here are Americans, so you might be missing something rather important.

    These bloggers were careful. They probably used every type of encryption, all kinds of VPNs, proxies and tons of security software. But the one thing you cannot avoid in almost every nation other than the US and most of Europe, is the non-virtual social network, where everyone knows everyone else.

    Here in America and most of Europe, humans can communicate without ever seeing each other. We build so-called "social networks", but in reality we've never met nearly 50% of the people we associate with online. In places like South America, where the Internet is not quite as prevalent, people still talk to each other. Families still sit down to dinner, share meals with neighbors, chat over the fence, gossip here and there, all face to face.

    So when you talk to someone about a gang member, they remember you. Perhaps they mention it to a friend, and a neighbor overhears. However it happens, if more than one person knows that someone talked about something, it *will* get to the other interested party eventually. And if that other interested party is extremely powerful, with a reputation for slaughtering anyone who hides info, and richly rewarding those who supply it?

    You can't even hide in your parent's basement, because all the neighbors will know you're down there, and will gossip about how you never come out except to ask strange questions.

    Here in the US, in our connected-yet-disconnected society, anonymity comes from a mixture of software and our physical isolation. In places like Mexico, where physical isolation is akin to Excommunication, anonymity in such a profession is all but impossible.

  • by cheekyjohnson (1873388) on Friday November 11, 2011 @11:36PM (#38032362)

    So you prefer anarchy and bodies hanging from bridges?

    Yes. I don't think those are the only two choices, but yes. I'm none too fond of excuses to take away civil liberties. Whether that be "terrorists" or "drug cartels," they're all the same to me.

  • Is this something you actually have to live with? Or are you in another country?
  • by mosb1000 (710161) <mosb1000@mac.com> on Saturday November 12, 2011 @12:20AM (#38032562)

    Do they really think they can scare everyone into not talking about their reprehensible activities online? This is a fools errand. At the very most, it will cause people to talk about it anonymously, and probably not even that. And what is the aim of this kind of intimidation? Do they think people would have a good impression of them, if only they weren't vilified in the press?! The absurdity of this endeavor is amusing to me. They clearly have too much money and too much time on their hands if they are worried about what bloggers are saying about them.

  • by weiqj (870224) on Saturday November 12, 2011 @12:21AM (#38032568)
    To solve the gang problem, I don't see any solution other than physical extermination. Given Chinese executing more than half of the death penalties in the world, Mexicans would need an even big quota. I can't imagine how it could happen. Democracy is not the problem. Fake democracy is. I would rather be ruled by Chinese capitalist government than your mafia government. You can't demand to live in paradise. So it's most likely either or scenario. Talking is cheap. Do you really believe there is a solution to the gang problem? Well I can guarantee you if the same thing happens in China, army will be sent over there. First batch of 100 gangs will be tried and executed with machine gun in weeks. If there is still problem there will be second batch, third batch until the mess is cleaned. We don't have a quota of the maximum death panelties per year. We will kill as many sons of bitches as necessary.
  • by icebike (68054) on Saturday November 12, 2011 @01:32AM (#38032856)

    Dream on. If its not pot, it will be other worse drugs. The cartels are not going to go quietly.
    Mexico is ruled by gun toting mobs shooting people in the streets. 34,612 people since December 2006.

    The only thing that will take down the Mexican Cartels is a full scale military assault, not the
    luke warm effort of the Calderon government. Support for the government is waning and public
    backing is declining as the violence continues unabated. Given a vote, the Mexican people would
    in a few years simply vote to put the cartels in charge of the government just to stop the killings.

    Mark my words, The Mexican Government will either have to undertake a full scale war against the
    Cartels everywhere, or the US will have to invade and do it for them.

    We could legalize every bad-ass drug from central and south american, and it wouldn't make
    a dent in the Cartels. If they can't sell illegal drugs they will simply take the farmland and
    sell legal ones, and the wives and daughters of the land owners too.

    You think you can deal with these guys?

    You are crazy.

  • by mosb1000 (710161) <mosb1000@mac.com> on Saturday November 12, 2011 @02:48AM (#38033132)

    Where are they going to get their money? Not all crime pays enough to fund organized crime on that scale. There are a couple other places they could turn, prostitution and sex trafficking, gambling, things like that. But the amount of money in those things does not come close. And you could take the bottom out of them by legalizing them too. . .so, where's the beef? How are these thugs going to pay to keep the lights on?

    Other forms of crime like kidnapping and robbery don't pay enough to support a large orginization, and can be done by much smaller groups. Crime for crimes sake is fun, but these people still need to eat and get by and provide for their families, and if the syndicate can't pay the bills they're going to need to get another job. And that will throw a wrench into a crime syndicate's ability to operate.

    You can't just wave your hands and say, they won't stop. They need money to operate like any business.

  • by guises (2423402) on Saturday November 12, 2011 @04:47AM (#38033444)
    Why do you think it's so easy to leave?
  • by slashfoxi (610738) on Saturday November 12, 2011 @07:00AM (#38033768)
    I hate to quote the NRA, but guns are illegal in Mexico. And when guns are illegal only law breakers have guns. A lot of people on here are suggesting that Mexico legalize it. One could argue that "it" is guns.
  • by syousef (465911) on Saturday November 12, 2011 @08:32AM (#38034066) Journal

    These criminals wouldn't hesitate to hunt down every last one of them for daring so much as to troll on a web board! What makes you think they'd sit by idle while their bank accounts were emptied. They'd probably start going after not just the bloggers but their family and friends to teach others a lesson. Even cops hesitate to fuck with these guys, and they are already well known, so the idea of shaming them is incredibly stupid and unworkable. What else are these hacker groups do exactly? Release a can of open source software on their arse? If you're going to take them on you better have legal backing, a metric arse load of weapons and somewhere safe to hide your family.

  • Legalize drugs, and let their income of blood money vanish.

    If you think legalizing drugs will stop their reign of terror, you've got another thing coming. They'll just find some other extremely lucrative (and therefore most likely illegal) market to attempt to corner, and their thuggery will continue.

    Such as?

    What "extremely lucrative" market is there, which Zetas can reasonably adjust itself to supply?

    Here's a hint, whatever that market is, it isn't in Mexico. Not enough per capita income. The only market that could possibly bankroll an organization like Zetas is America... and what product or service other than narcotics is there such a passionate, unmet demand for in America?

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