Blog del Narco
|Type||Blog, Online newspaper, Internet forum|
|Founded||2 March 2010|
Blog del Narco (Narco's Blog) was a blog that attempts to document the violent incidents and characters involved in the Mexican Drug War that never make it to government reports or the mainstream media.
An anonymous person created the website because the Government of Mexico was not reporting the violence and was trying to pretend that "nothing [was] happening", the media was "intimidated" and the "government had apparently been bought."
The author would initially spend four hours every day working on the website. To deal with the increased workload, he asked a friend, also anonymous, to help him. They decided to broadcast their content without alteration or modifications of convenience—and help Mexicans take all necessary precautions to protect their own well-being. They chose YouTube to upload videos to the web and comment as @infonarco on Twitter. During the early days of Blog del Narco, the general population of Mexico submitted only a small number of reports to them, but as the website built trust with time, more reports were submitted. The creators and current editors of the blog "have not received any threats yet."
In 2011, a video posted on the blog outlined a prison warden's system of letting prisoners free at night so they could commit murders for drug cartels. As a result of the video, the prison warden was arrested.
In May 2013, it was revealed that one of the authors of the blog was a woman in her early 20s who goes by the pseudonym "Lucy." In early May, Lucy fled Mexico for the United States (Texas), then Spain.
In Mexico, many traditional journalistic outlets have been threatened and harassed due to stories about the drug trafficking industry they dared publish, so anonymous blogs like Blog del Narco have taken the role of reporting on events related to the drug war. The author, an anonymous computer security student in his 20s from northern Mexico, uses computer security techniques to obscure his identity. His anonymity has been maintained. When he conducted an interview with the Associated Press, he used a disguised telephone number. The author of the blog said that he is doing a service by publishing sensitive details about the Mexican Drug War that journalist organizations in Mexico are hesitant to publish for fear of retaliation. The blogger said, "for the scanty details that they (mass media) put on television, they get grenades thrown at them and their reporters kidnapped. We publish everything. Imagine what they could do to us."
As of September 2010, the blog had three million unique monthly views. By 2011, it became one of the most visited websites in Mexico. Members of police and drug cartel groups directly read the blog.
MSNBC described Blog del Narco as "Mexico's go-to Web site on information on the country's drug war." Additionally, The Houston Chronicle said that Blog del Narco is "a gritty, front-row seat to Mexico's drug war."
The Guardian and Los Angeles Times noted that Blog del Narco is a response to Mexico's "narco-censorship," a term used when reporters and editors of the Mexican Drug War, out of fear or caution, are forced to either write what the drug lords demand, or remain silent by not writing anything at all. If they do not comply with what the drug cartels demand, the journalists may be kidnapped, intimidated, or even killed.
Spencer Ackerman of Wired said, "even if you don’t read Spanish (like me), the images on Blog Del Narco tell the gruesome story. Old, wealthy men held hostage and humiliated. Paramilitary cops in ski masks taking dudes into custody. People walking the streets in body armor, automatic weapons out. Then there’s all the dead bodies and shot-up cars."
Jo Tuckman of Dawn said that the website's contents are "a catalogue of horror absent even from the national press, which still covers the violence from the relative safety of its headquarters in the capital."
Duncan Robinson of the New Statesman said "To say that the blog's coverage is raw is an understatement. It is visceral and undigested. This is news unprocessed, unadulterated and uncensored. Where a news editor would cut away, Blog del Narco's footage lingers. Decapitations are not described, they are pictured. It's unapologetically violent. The blog's raison d'être is simple: to reflect what is happening."
Carlos Lauria of the Committee to Protect Journalists criticized the website, saying that it was "produced by someone who is not doing it from a journalistic perspective. He is doing it without ethical considerations." Many critics said that the blog provides free public relations for the cartel groups.
- Contreras, Sergio Octavio (11 November 2010). "La semántica del Blog del Narco". Etcétera. Retrieved 20 April 2012.
- "The REAL City of God: Student risks his life documenting Mexico's drug war in gritty, blood-soaked blog." The Daily Mail. August 14, 2010. Retrieved on February 15, 2011.
- Ackerman, Spencer. "Mexico’s Top Narco-Blogger Comes Forward." Wired. September 14, 2010. Retrieved on February 15, 2011.
- Gutierrez, Raul (September 2010). "Leaking secrets, leaking blood". Boing Boing. Retrieved 20 April 2012.
- Merkelson, Suzanne. "Blog del Narco gets the drug war scoop." Foreign Policy. Friday August 13, 2010. Retrieved on February 16, 2011.
- Carroll, Rory (16 May 2013). "Blog del Narco: author who chronicled Mexico's drugs war forced to flee". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 June 2013.
- "Man mistaken for drug cartel boss to sue government." Sify News. January 24, 2011. Retrieved on February 15, 2011.
- Tuckman, Jo. "Mexico’s drug war — told in tweets and whispers." Dawn. Tuesday September 28, 2010. Retrieved on February 15, 2010.
- Rodriguez, Olga R. "Blogger Beats Mexico Drug War News Blackout." Associated Press at the Huffington Post. August 12, 2010. Retrieved on February 16, 2011.
- Freeman, Nate. "With Journalists Silenced, Mysterious Blogger Reports on Mexico’s Drug Violence Archived January 23, 2011, at the Wayback Machine." The Observer. August 16, 2010. Retrieved on February 16, 2011.
- "Mexican drug gang barricades Monterrey roads ." MSNBC. August 14, 2010. Retrieved on February 15, 2011.
- Schiller, Dane (April 19, 2012). "El Blog del Narco – a gritty, front-row seat to Mexico's drug war". The Houston Chronicle. Retrieved April 20, 2012.
- Greenslade, Roy (17 August 2010). "Narco-censorship - how drug traffickers silence the Mexican media". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 April 2012.
- Wilkinson, Tracy (16 April 2012). "Under threat from Mexican drug cartels, reporters go silent". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 20 April 2012.
- Robinson, Duncan. "Blog del Narco: madness, mutilation and murder in Mexico." New Statesman. September 21, 2010. Retrieved on February 15, 2011.
- Blog del Narco (Official and Original website) (in Spanish)
- Gomez, Robert. "A New Visual Regime: Narco Warfare through Social Media" (Archive). Sightlines. 2012. Posted at: California College of the Arts
- Burnett, Thane. "Mexico's drug war goes online." Toronto Sun. September 2, 2010.
- "Blogger tells the real story of the war on drugs." France 24. 12 March 2010.
- "La cuadratura del círculo Operativos en el Noroeste." Tribuna Campeche. Thursday February 3, 2011. (in Spanish)