Valor por Tamaulipas has over 149,000 likes on Facebook

A Facebook page tracking security updates in the northern state of Tamaulipas has been threatened by an unidentified criminal or group of criminals, calling attention to the risks faced by similiar social media services in Mexico.

Valor Por Tamaulipas, which has over 150,000 "Likes" on Facebook as of February 15, was the target of a threatening pamphlet distributed in various cities in Tamaulipas state, reports Proceso

The flier offered a reward worth over $46,000 in exchange for identifying the page administrator, and included a cell phone number at the bottom.

An administrator at the Valor Por Tamaulipas page responded to the threat, posting, "I'm not playing at being a hero, I'm doing what I have to do as a citizen." 

The page posts frequent updates about security dynamics in Tamaulipas, including reports of theft from gas pipelines and the license plate number of a car associated with extortion collectors. 

InSight Crime Analysis

Valor Por Tamaulipas is one of several micro-blogging services in Mexico that issue alerts about violence and crime. The practice has become popular on Twitter, where users use hashtags such as #reynosafollow, #mtyfollow, and #verfollow to track violence in specific regions (Reynosa, Monterrey, and Veracruz respectively).

Citizen micro-blogging about local crime dynamics has spread in Mexico to compensate, in part, for the silence of the press. As documented in a recent report by the Committee to Protect Journalists in Zacatecas state, both local and national media in Mexico often rely on self-censorship when reporting on organized crime, as a way to protect themselves from threats. 

Mexico remains one of the most dangerous countries in the region for journalists, but social media curators have also faced threats. In September 2011, an administrator at the Nuevo Laredo en Vivo website, which tracked violence in Nuevo Laredo, was found dead, alongside a sign suggesting she had been killed due to her activity online. 

 

Investigations

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
Prev Next

Reign of the Kaibil: Guatemala’s Prisons Under Byron Lima

Reign of the Kaibil: Guatemala’s Prisons Under Byron Lima

Following Guatemala's long and brutal civil war, members of the military were charged, faced trial and sentenced to jail time. Even some members of a powerful elite unit known as the Kaibil were put behind bars. Among these prisoners, none were more emblematic than Captain Byron Lima...

El Salvador Prisons and the Battle for the MS13’s Soul

El Salvador Prisons and the Battle for the MS13’s Soul

El Salvador's prison system is the headquarters of the country's largest gangs. It is also where one of these gangs, the MS13, is fighting amongst itself for control of the organization.

Homicides in Guatemala: Collecting the Data

Homicides in Guatemala: Collecting the Data

When someone is murdered in Guatemala, police, forensic doctors and government prosecutors start making their way to the crime scene and a creaky, antiquated 20th century bureaucratic machine kicks into gear. Calls are made. Forms are filled out by hand, or typed into computers, or both. Some...

Homicides in Guatemala: Introduction, Methodology, and Major Findings

Homicides in Guatemala: Introduction, Methodology, and Major Findings

When violence surged in early 2015 in Guatemala, then-President Otto Pérez Molina knew how to handle the situation: Blame the street gangs. 

The MS13 Moves (Again) to Expand on US East Coast

The MS13 Moves (Again) to Expand on US East Coast

Local police and justice officials are convinced that the Mara Salvatrucha (MS13) has strengthened its presence along the East Coast of the United States. The alarm follows a recent spate of violence -- of the type not seen in a decade -- which included dismembered bodies and...

The Lucky ‘Kingpin’: How ‘Chepe Diablo’ Has (So Far) Ridiculed Justice

The Lucky ‘Kingpin’: How ‘Chepe Diablo’ Has (So Far) Ridiculed Justice

José Adán Salazar Umaña is the only Salvadoran citizen currently on the US government's Kingpin List. But in his defense, Salazar Umaña claims is he is an honorable businessman who started his career by exchanging money along the borders between Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. He does...

How the MS13 Tried (and Failed) to Create a Single Gang in the US

How the MS13 Tried (and Failed) to Create a Single Gang in the US

In July 2011, members of the Mara Salvatrucha (MS13) attended a meeting organized in California by a criminal known as "Bad Boy." Among the invitees was José Juan Rodríguez Juárez, known as "Dreamer," who had gone to the meeting hoping to better understand what was beginning to...

Homicides in Guatemala: Conclusions and Recommendations

Homicides in Guatemala: Conclusions and Recommendations

Olfato. It is a term used quite often in law enforcement and judicial circles in Central America (and other parts of the world as well). It refers to the sixth sense they have as they see a crime scene, investigate a murder or plow through the paperwork...

Colombia's Mirror: War and Drug Trafficking in the Prison System

Colombia's Mirror: War and Drug Trafficking in the Prison System

Colombia's prisons are a reflection of the multiple conflicts that have plagued the country for the last half-century. Paramilitaries, guerrillas and drug trafficking groups have vied for control of the jails where they can continue to manage their operations on the outside. Instead of corralling these forces...

How the MS13 Got Its Foothold in Transnational Drug Trafficking

How the MS13 Got Its Foothold in Transnational Drug Trafficking

Throughout the continent, the debate on whether or not the Mara Salvatrucha (MS13) gang is working with or for drug traffickers continues. In this investigation, journalist Carlos García tells the story of how a member of the MS13 entered the methamphetamine distribution business under the powerful auspices...