Gang members in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, killed and beheaded the moderator of a social network, the Houston Chronicle reported Wednesday.
“Hi, I’m Rascatripas,” read the note on a blood-stained blanket left with the body. “This happened to me for not understanding that I shouldn’t report on the social networks.”
The victim, known by his nickname “Rascatripas (Belly Scratcher),” was the moderator of a site called Nuevo Laredo en Vivo, which had posted information about the local drug cartel.
This is the fourth murder in the area in the past three months that appears to be related to victims’ social media activities. Another blogger on the same site, Marisol Macias Castaneda, was found beheaded in the same location as Rascatripas in late September. A couple of weeks earlier, two bodies were found hanging from a pedestrian overpass with a sign (pictured above) that threatened, “This will happen to all the Internet snitches.”
In the drug war that has killed more than 40,000 people since 2006, social media has become an important way for Mexicans to communicate news about drug cartel violence and to navigate cartel checkpoints and shootouts.
Contributors to Nuevo Laredo en Vivo urged participants on the social site to not abandon their efforts in response to Rascaripas’s murder.
“No need to worry,” wrote contributor Danlaredo as translated by Wired, “no way of knowing our data since WE’RE ALL ANONYMOUS, and the only way to know them, is that we disclose ourselves so PLEASE, follow the rules … and do not give your personal INFORMATION …. please!!!!”