While most of the world is losing its head over new Facebook UI changes, social networking users in Mexico are quite literally losing theirs for sharing information online about drug cartel activity.
In a tragic and disturbing incident in the border city of Nuevo Laredo, the press is reporting that a woman – possibly an editor at Mexican Primera Hoy newspaper – had been decapitated as a warning to those who use social media to speak out against drug lord activity in the area.
The body was found on Saturday morning next to a warning note explaining why she had been killed.
Some reports have identified the woman as Primera Hoy editor Maria Elizabeth Macias Castro, 39, while others say she is Marisol Macias Castaneda, an administrative assistant at the paper. Neither identifications has been definitively confirmed as of yet.
Online, the woman’s identity appears to have been that of NenaDLaredo, an outspoken citizen concerned about how the drug gangs were affecting her area.
She, like others, had taken to the networking site to post updates and news often censored by mainstream media who have been terrorized into submission by the various cartels. Her icon has been greyed out and inactive since the gruesome discovery.
“Nuevo Laredo en Vivo and social networking sites, I’m the Nena de Laredo, and I’m here because of my reports, and yours,” read the note next to her headless body. The signature Z’s in the message appear to indicate that the murder was the work of the Zetas cartel.
The website itself – Nuevo Laredo en Vivo – has added a banner to its header as a mark of mourning and respect, while users have also taken to Twitter to commiserate.
The death is not the first of its kind to purportedly target social media drug cartel watchdogs. In early September two other people were found “mutilated and hanging” from a bridge in Nuevo Laredo also next to a note threatening social media users.