Mexico Turns to Social Media for Information and Survival

Posted in: Internet Use/New Technologies at 25/09/2011 18:12

Before the police or news reporters had even arrived at the underpass outside Veracruz where gunmen held up traffic and dumped 35 bodies at rush hour last week, Twitter was already buzzing with fear and valuable information.

"Avoid Plaza Las Américas," several people wrote, giving the location.

"There are gunmen," wrote others, adding, "they're not soldiers or marines, their faces are masked."

These witness accounts have become common in Mexico over the past year, especially in violent cities where the news media have been compromised by corruption or killings. But the flurry of Twitter messages about the bodies arrived at a telling moment -- on the same day that Veracruz's State Assembly made it a crime to use Twitter and other social networks to undermine public order.
Many Mexicans now say they trust Twitter more than local news outlets, and in some areas, parents and grandparents are being taught by their children how to get online -- specifically so they can be safe.

Also see:

Woman Decapitated in Mexico for Web Posting [AP]
Police found a woman's decapitated body in a Mexican border city on Saturday, alongside a handwritten sign saying she was killed in retaliation for her postings on a social networking site.

The gruesome killing may be the third so far this month in which people in Nuevo Laredo were killed by a drug cartel for what they said on the internet.

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