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domingo, 25 de setembro de 2011

#NEWS #TWITTER #MEXICO: Decapitated woman mourned by social media website

Nuevolaredo en vivo screengrab
REPORTING FROM MEXICO CITY -- A woman found decapitated in the border city of Nuevo Laredo is being mourned as an apparent member of a social networking site used by local residents to share information on drug cartel activity.
The victim was found early Saturday with a note nearby saying she was killed for posting messages online about violent or criminal incidents in Nuevo Laredo.
The Tamaulipas state attorney general's office identified the woman as Maria Elizabeth Macias Castro, 39, and said she was an editor at the newspaper Primera Hora (links in Spanish). The Associated Press, however, quoting an employee of the newspaper, identified the victim as Marisol Macias Castaneda, and said she held an administrative and not an editorial post at Primera Hora.
A web search of the newspaper's website found no mention of the woman's death or the discovery of a decapitated female body on Saturday.
But on the website Nuevo Laredo en Vivo, a banner image appeared memorializing a member known as NenaDLaredo. "You'll always be present," the display says.

At Saturday's grisly scene, the message left with Macias's body makes reference to the site and NenaDLaredo in particular, saying: "Nuevo Laredo en Vivo and social networking sites, I'm the Nena de Laredo, and I'm here because of my reports, and yours."
The message was tagged with multiple Z's, indicating a link to the violent Zetas cartel.
A blogger and Twitter user known as @OVEMEX, who said he is based in northern Mexico and monitors social media, told The Times via email Sunday: "Apparently, from checking out the forum, which for the most part has been moved to private, it is her. Or at least she has not come back online to dismiss her own decapitation."
Social media sites have been essential outlets for Mexicans seeking to monitor or report on violent incidents and other activities linked to organized crime, as local news organizations frequently silence themselves under pressure from political or criminal forces. Primera Hora, for instance, is said to be a property of Nuevo Laredo's mayor, the daily Excelsior reported (link in Spanish).
The shift toward crowd-sourced drug-war reporting in Mexico has resulted in tension between social media users and local governments. The state of Veracruz attempted to try a man and woman for terrorism and sabotage for allegedly igniting a panic over attacks on schools in late August. The government later dropped the charges.
Earlier this month, two people were found mutilated and hanging from a Nuevo Laredo bridge alongside messages threatening social media users, but whether those victims were killed for posting messages on the Internet has not been corroborated by authorities or reliable news outlets.
-- Daniel Hernandez
Image: Screen shot of messages posted on Nuevo Laredo en Vivo discussing the reported death of a contributor known as NenaDLaredo. Credit: via Twitter

Woman journalist is decapitated by Mexican drugs cartel over comments she made on social networking site

By The Associated Press

Last updated at 7:44 PM on 25th September 2011
Police found a woman's decapitated body in a Mexican border city on Saturday, alongside a handwritten sign saying she was killed in retaliation for her postings on a social networking site.
The gruesome killing may be the third so far this month in which people in Nuevo Laredo were killed by a drug cartel for what they said on the internet.
Morelos Canseco, the interior secretary of northern Tamaulipas state, where Nuevo Laredo is located, identified the victim as Marisol Macias Castaneda, a newsroom manager for the Nuevo Laredo newspaper Primera Hora.
A soldier guards a crime scene in Nuevo Laredo (file picture)
A soldier guards a crime scene in Nuevo Laredo (file picture)
The newspaper has not confirmed that title, and an employee of the paper said Macias Castaneda held an administrative post, not a reporting job. The employee was not authorised to be quoted by name.
But it was apparently what the woman posted on the local social networking site, Nuevo Laredo en Vivo, or 'Nuevo Laredo Live,' rather than her role at the newspaper, that resulted in her killing.


The site prominently features tip hotlines for the Mexican army, navy and police, and includes a section for reporting the location of drug gang lookouts and drug sales points — possibly the information that angered the cartel.
The message found next to her body on the side of a main thoroughfare referred to the nickname the victim purportedly used on the site, 'La Nena de Laredo,' or 'Laredo Girl.'
Her head was found placed on a large stone piling nearby.
Soldiers killed five hitmen during a shootout on the road that connects Monterrey to Nuevo Laredo (file picture)
Soldiers killed five hitmen during a shootout on the road that connects Monterrey to Nuevo Laredo (file picture)
'Nuevo Laredo en Vivo and social networking sites, I'm The Laredo Girl, and I'm here because of my reports, and yours,' the message read.
'For those who don't want to believe, this happened to me because of my actions, for believing in the army and the navy. Thank you for your attention, respectfully, Laredo Girl...ZZZZ.'
The letter 'Z' refers to the hyper-violent Zetas drug cartel, which is believed to dominate the city across from Laredo, Texas.
It was unclear how the killers found out her real identity.
By late Saturday, the chat room at Nuevo Laredo en Vivo was abuzz with fellow posters who said they knew the victim from her online postings, and railing against the Zetas, a gang founded by military deserters who have become known for mass killings and gruesome executions.
Soldiers guard a crime scene in Nuevo Laredo (file picture)
Soldiers guard a crime scene in Nuevo Laredo (file picture)
They described her as a frequent poster, who used a laptop or cell phone to send reports.
'Girl why didn't she buy a gun given that she was posting reports about the RatZZZ ... why didn't she buy a gun?' wrote one chat participant under the nickname 'Gol.'
Earlier this month, a man and a woman were found hanging dead from an overpass in Nuevo Laredo with a similar message threatening 'this is what will happen' to internet users.
However, it has not been clearly established whether the two had in fact ever posted any messages, or on what sites.
Residents of Mexican border cities often post under nicknames to report drug gang violence, because the posts allow a certain degree of anonymity.
Social media like local chat rooms and blogs, and networking sites like Twitter and Facebook, are often the only outlet for residents of violence-wracked cities to find out what areas to avoid because of ongoing drug cartel shootouts or attacks.
Local media outlets, whose journalists have been hit by killings, kidnappings and threats, are often too intimidated to report the violence.
Mexico's Human Rights Commission says eight journalists have been killed in Mexico this year and 74 since 2000.
Other press groups cite lower numbers, and figures differ based on the definition of who is a journalist and whether the killings appeared to involve their professional work.
While helpful, social networking posts sometimes are inaccurate and can lead to chaotic situations in cities wracked by gang confrontations.
In the Gulf coast state of Veracruz, just south of Tamaulipas, the state government dropped terrorism charges last week against two Twitter users for false posts that officials said caused panic and chaos in late August.


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