Cyber activists associated with Anonymous are targeting the violent Zeta drug cartel in Mexico by threatening to expose members of the group.
According to various media reports, Anonymous is vowing not only to reveal identities of Zeta members, but also journalists and politicians who may be associated with the cartel.
As you might recall, one of the collective’s favorite tactics is website defacement – and Anonymous has already hacked the homepage of a Mexican politician suspected of having connections to the cartel.
In the video below, the group demands the release of an Anonymous member who was allegedly kidnapped by Zeta members during a protest.
“You have made a great mistake by taking one of us. Free him,” the video says.
The short clip – posted in English and Spanish – warns that if the kidnapped Anonymous member is not freed, the group will upload photos and the identities of police officers, journalists, taxi drivers who do business with the Zeta cartel.
Anonymous claims it will release the information this week.
“We cannot defend ourselves with weapons, but we can with their cars, houses, bars,” the message continues, referring to properties owned by gang affiliates.
“It’s not difficult. We know who they are and where they are.”
Global intelligence think tank Stratfor confirmed that any individual exposed by Anonymous as a Zeta associate would become a target of rival gangs – even if they aren’t actually working with the Zetas.
Similarly, Stratfor warned Zeta could respond by attacking Internet activists who aren’t linked to Anonymous, as the gang has attacked non-affiliated individuals for posting information in the past.
The YouTube video shows a man in a suit wearing the familiar Guy Fawkes mask that has become symbol for Anonymous. The clip uses the same “credits” graphics that have been a part of Anonymous films for some time now.
Authorities in Mexico say that there is no way for them to confirm if the video is really from Anonymous.
The latest film is presented by someone in the Fawkes mask who claim he is speaking for Anonymous in “Veracruz, Mexico, and the world.”
This is yet another example of high-profile resistance to the Zetas online. The cartel has been blamed for an increase in violence along Mexico’s Gulf Coast and the Internet has become a place where people voice opposition to their activity.