Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Technology Is A Two-Edged Sword

In this case, literally.

I tell my students that technology is a tool, and like any tool can be used to produce good outcomes or bad. This incident, like one a couple of weeks ago, is an extreme example of negative consequences that can result from using social media.
... a newspaper editor whose decapitated body was found over the weekend in the Mexican border town of Nuevo Laredo appears to have been targeted by a drug gang carrying out a reprisal for her work on social networks.

Though no investigation has yet been carried out, a message was found next to the body indicating that she was killed by members of organized crime "in retaliation for the information that the victim had distributed in social networks denouncing the activities of criminals in Nuevo Laredo..."

Earlier this month, attackers left threats mentioning two websites on signs beside mutilated bodies in northern Mexico. A woman had been hogtied and disemboweled and left dangling from a bridge in Nuevo Laredo. A bloodied man next to her was hanging by his hands.

Signs left near the bodies declared the pair, both apparently in their 20s, were killed for posting denouncements of drug cartel activities.
That makes getting unfriended on Facebook pretty innocuous.

Both incidents occurred less than ten miles from my office and apartment.

To give you some idea of how much the cartels have intimidated local media, this story received little if any coverage in the Laredo area. 

Which makes this story pretty interesting. A&E is planning a new TV series on Laredo. It premiers on Thurs. Oct. 13.
"Laredo, Texas is under siege. The small city on the U.S.-Mexico border is overrun by the sophisticated and large-scale trafficking operations of Mexican drug cartels. Given unprecedented access, A&E documents a unique, dedicated team of local cops, members of the Laredo Texas Police Department Narcotics Unit, who are waging a daily battle to protect the U.S.

The largest inland port on the U.S.-Mexico border, Laredo is the premiere gateway used by Mexican drug cartels to transport illegal narcotics into the U.S. and export billions of dollars in cash to Mexico. "Bordertown: Laredo" gives viewers exclusive access to the explosive drama, violence and conflict that unfold daily along the U.S.-Mexico border through the unique perspective of five Mexican-American cops determined to take back their community."
Check it out. You just might see a middle-aged over-weight bald-headed blogger in the background of some scenes (not me, of course - I'm young, could pass for a male swimsuit model, and have a full head of thick, luxurious, wavy hair).

What a mess...


Old NFO said...

I'd be watching out for the shooters coming across the border to take out the news cameras...

Anonymous said...

Yup, FoxNews had a study done by 2 retired Army generals.

They concluded the Mexican drug cartels are coming across the border to stay and set up distribution points in the border counties.

The Dumbocrats in Washington are in denile.

It's gonna get real ugly real soon.

You Texans better stock up on plenty of weapons and ammo cause Obama ain't gonna come down to help.

Of course, if the worst happens he'll send in FEMA after half the State has been wiped out.

CenTexTim said...

Old NFO, the filming is already done. What amazes me is that, from the promos I've seen, the Laredo cops involved let their names and faces be revealed. That takes major-league cojones.

Toejam, the cartels have already moved beyond the border communities. We are now just pass-through border crossing points. They have established distribution centers in major cities on the interstates, like Houston and San Antonio - just like WalMart. And not only is obama not lifting a finger to help, he's running guns to the cartels.

I repeat, what a mess...