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[tor-talk] [info] Bodies hanging from bridge in Mexico are warning to social media users


Bodies hanging from bridge in Mexico are warning to social media users

By Mariano Castillo, CNN

Mexico hangings a warning?


Signs say two people were killed for denouncing cartel activities on the

Their bodies show signs of torture

Online posts have become some of the loudest voices reporting violence in

Social media users say they will stand strong

(CNN) -- Social media users who denounce drug cartel activities along the
Mexican border received a brutal warning this week: Two mangled bodies
hanging like cuts of meat from a pedestrian bridge.

A woman was hogtied and disemboweled, her intestines protruding from three
deep cuts on her abdomen. Attackers left her topless, dangling by her feet
and hands from a bridge in the border city of Nuevo Laredo. A bloodied man
next to her was hanging by his hands, his right shoulder severed so deeply
the bone was visible.

Signs left near the bodies declared the pair, both apparently in their early
20s, were killed for posting denouncements of drug cartel activities on a
social network.

"This is going to happen to all of those posting funny things on the
Internet," one sign said. "You better (expletive) pay attention. I'm about to
get you."

The gruesome scene sent a chilling message at a time when online posts have
become some of the loudest voices reporting violence in Mexico. In some parts
of the country, threats from cartels have silenced traditional media.
Sometimes even local authorities fear speaking out.

Mexico's notoriously ruthless drug gangs regularly hang victims from bridges
and highway overpasses.

And bloggers who specialize in sharing news about trafficking have been
threatened in the past. But this could be the first time users of such social
networks have been targeted.

Investigator Ricardo Mancillas Castillo said he had not encountered a threat
against Internet users in his four years based in Nuevo Laredo. But the signs
of torture -- the cuts, the disembowelment -- were along the lines of what
officials are used to seeing in drug-related violence.

In the case of the two victims found on the Nuevo Laredo bridge Tuesday,
their ears and fingers were mutilated, said Mancillas, who works for the
public prosecutor's office.

There are no witnesses, and it is a nearly impossible task to identify the
perpetrators, he said.

Thirty-six hours had passed since the bodies were found Tuesday morning, but
no one had come to claim them and they remained unidentified, Mancillas said.

It will be nearly impossible to determine if the two victims actually posted
anything about cartels on the Internet, as people don't usually use their
real names online, he said.

The placards threatened those who report violent incidents through social
media networks. It listed two blogs by name, Al Rojo Vivo and Blog del Narco.

They were signed "Z," a possible reference for the Zetas cartel, which
operates in the area.

Blog del Narco is a website that deals exclusively with news related to drug
violence in Mexico. Its creator remains anonymous.

On the Al Rojo Vivo forum, where citizens can make anonymous tips, one person
wrote: "Don't be afraid to denounce. It's very difficult for them to find out
who denounced. They only want to scare society."

One Twitter user echoed that sense of defiance in light of the threats.

"Enough! If we shut up today, we will have lost the ground that we have
gained. This is the time to show what we are made of," the owner of the
@QuestoyQuelotro Twitter account wrote.

In a statement sent to CNN, Blog del Narco said its site is not dedicated to
denouncing crime, as are other sites.

"In addition, we are not in favor or against any criminal group, we only
inform as things happen," the statement said.

More than 34,600 people have died in drug-related violence since Mexican
President Felipe Calderon announced a crackdown on cartels in December 2006,
according to government statistics. Other reports have listed a higher toll.
The latest Mexican government tally was released in January.

CNN's Catherine E. Shoichet, Rafael Romo and journalist Raul Llamas
contributed to this report. 
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