Borderland Beat

Last updated
Borderland Beat
Borderland Beat Logo.gif
Type of site
News Blog, Forum
Created by Buggs
Alexa rank 72,784
Launched April 2009

Borderland Beat is an English language blog that reports news about the Mexican Drug War. [1] The blog was started in April 2009 by an anonymous individual using the pseudoynm Buggs, who remains the sole owner. The blog has been referred to and quoted in the New York Times , [2] [3] Small Wars Journal [4] and the Houston Chronicle . [5] [6]

The Mexican Drug War is an ongoing asymmetric low-intensity conflict between the Mexican government and various drug trafficking syndicates. In 2006 when the Mexican military began to intervene, the government's principal goal was to reduce drug-related violence. The Mexican government has asserted that their primary focus is on dismantling the powerful drug cartels, rather than on preventing drug trafficking and demand, which is left to U.S. functionaries.

The Small Wars Journal (SWJ) is an online magazine focusing on intrastate conflict. Aside from its online magazine, SWJ hosts an accompanying blog and the Small Wars Council discussion board. Other site features include an online reference library, recommended reading and event listings. The magazine is published by the Small Wars Foundation, a non-profit corporation.

<i>Houston Chronicle</i> newspaper in Houston, Texas, USA

The Houston Chronicle is the largest daily newspaper in Houston, Texas, United States. As of April 2016, it is the third-largest newspaper by Sunday circulation in the United States, behind only the New York Times and Los Angeles Times. With its 1995 buy-out of long-time rival the Houston Post, the Chronicle became Houston's newspaper of record.


In an article published in May 2012, the journalist, Gary Moore, described Borderland Beat as follows: "An English-language digest Web site called Borderland Beat forms a lonely watchtower on the Mexico battlements, manned by a small cadre of Mexican-Americans (my work has appeared there as well), who set themselves the vital mission of archiving any available news on Mexico's meltdown." [7]

A Der Spiegel article [8] includes a description of the main features of the Borderland Beat website.

<i>Der Spiegel</i> German weekly news magazine based in Hamburg

Der Spiegel is a German weekly news magazine published in Hamburg. With a weekly circulation of 840,000 copies, it is the largest such publication in Europe.

On average, there are between 3 and 4 news stories posted each day. In addition to the news pages, the site hosts a self-contained open forum which runs in parallel to the main news pages, where any registered user can post.

Editorial control is overseen by three site administrators, using pseudonyms; Chivis Martinez, DD and Otis, who also write for the news pages, together with a number of recognized contributors. In addition to recognized contributions, news stories are continually appearing on the open forum, where most remain; a few do get promoted to the news pages if they are deemed sufficiently interesting and factual by an administrator.

As of November 2014, the blog has had over 141,483,351 million visits since December 2009.

Danger to bloggers reporting Cartel violence

After the discovery in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico on November 9, 2011 of the body of the fourth blogger to be killed in the space of a month, for posting online information about drug cartels, The Daily Dot , MSNBC and Der Spiegel each produced an article outlining the dangers such internet activity posed. For comment, The Daily Dot [1] and MSNBC [9] turned to Borderland Beat administrator "Overmex", while Der Spiegel [8] interviewed Borderland Beat contributor "Gerardo". In the interviews, the two bloggers reiterated their determination to continue reporting on the ongoing drug war, and not to be intimidated by the drug cartels' threats.

<i>The Daily Dot</i> Digital media company covering Internet culture, based in Austin, Texas

The Daily Dot is a digital media company covering Internet culture and life on the web. Founded by Nicholas White in 2011, The Daily Dot is headquartered in Austin, Texas.

MSNBC is an American pay television network that provides news coverage and political commentary from NBC News on current events. MSNBC is owned by the NBCUniversal News Group, a unit of the NBCUniversal Television Group division of NBCUniversal. MSNBC and its website were founded in 1996 under a partnership between Microsoft and General Electric's NBC unit, hence the network's naming. Although they had the same name, and MSNBC maintained separate corporate structures and news operations. was headquartered on the Microsoft campus in Redmond, Washington while MSNBC operated out of NBC's headquarters in New York City. Microsoft divested its stakes in the MSNBC channel in 2005 and in in July 2012. The general news site was rebranded as, and a new was created as the online home of the cable channel.

Quoting from an article in Bloomberg Businessweek : "To protect contributors, the editors of the blog Borderland Beat, which has a reputation as one of the most reliable sources of information on Mexico's drug violence, say even they don’t know the identity of some of the site's major contributors. Posts are often passed through intermediaries to protect secrecy. "They could be journalists, cops, politicians, maybe even cartel members themselves," says one of the blog's editors, who uses the nickname Buggs." [10]

<i>Bloomberg Businessweek</i> magazine

Bloomberg Businessweek is an American weekly business magazine published since 2009 by Bloomberg L.P. Businessweek, founded in 1929, aimed to provide information and interpretation about events in the business world. The magazine is headquartered in New York City. Megan Murphy served as editor from November 2016; she stepped down from the role in January 2018 and Joel Weber was appointed in her place. The magazine is published 47 times a year.

Trusted source

Borderland Beat has been used as a reference in academic papers submitted under the auspices of:

US Army War College , Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania [11] [12] [13]

Congressional Research Service , The Library of Congress, Independence Ave, SE Washington, DC [14]

San Diego State University , Campanile Drive, San Diego, California [15]

George Washington University , Eye Street, NW Washington, DC [16]

Georgetown University , 37th and O Streets, NW Washington D.C. [17]

Colgate University , Hamilton, New York [18]

Universidad Autónoma Latinoamericana, Medellín, Colombia [19]

Oberlin College , Oberlin, Ohio [20]

Center for a New American Security , Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, DC [21]

Colgen LP, Defense Consulting Services, Mico, Texas [22]

Dr. Robert Bunker regularly writes about the Mexican Drug War for Small Wars Journal , and often refers to Borderland Beat for material. His May 31, 2012 blog post "Mexican Cartel Tactical Note #12" quotes extensively from a Borderland Beat news story. [23] Likewise, InSight Crime frequently uses Borderland Beat as a reference source [24] and they have also reproduced several Borderland Beat news articles in full. [25]

See also

Related Research Articles

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The Tijuana Cartel or Arellano-Félix Organization is a Mexican drug cartel based in Tijuana. The cartel once was described as "one of the biggest and most violent criminal groups in Mexico." However, since the 2006 Sinaloa Cartel incursion in Baja California and the fall of the Arellano-Félix brothers, the Tijuana Cartel has been reduced to a few cells. In 2016, the organization has become known as Cartel Tijuana Nueva Generación and has begun to align itself under the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, along with Beltrán Leyva Organization (BLO) to create an anti-Sinaloa alliance, in which the Jalisco New Generation Cartel heads, creating a possible powershift in Mexico.

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Gulf Cartel drug cartel

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The timeline of some of the most relevant events in the Mexican Drug War is set out below. Although violence between drug cartels had been occurring for three decades, the Mexican government held a generally passive stance regarding cartel violence through the 1980s and early 2000s.

La Línea (gang) organization

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<i>Blog del Narco</i>

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Cadereyta Jiménez massacre

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Marisol Macías Castañeda, also appearing as Maria Elizabeth Macías Castro in media reports and known for her online name "NenaDLaredo" or "La Nena De Laredo,", was a Mexican editor-in-chief for Primera Hora in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, Mexico and posted information about drug activities online. Macías was secretly reporting using the internet site Nuevo Laredo en Vivo, or Nuevo Laredo Live, about drug cartels in her city. Los Zetas murdered her in a publicly visible and brutal slaying with a note near her body as a warning to others. Her murder is the first documented murder of a journalist by a drug cartel in retaliation for journalism that was posted on a social media site.


  1. 1 2 "Mexican drug war blogger risks his life daily" The Daily Dot . November 17, 2011. Retrieved on June 20, 2012. "Archived"
  2. "In Mexico, Social Media Become a Battleground in the Drug War" New York Times . September 15, 2011. Retrieved on June 20, 2012. "Archived"
  3. "Mexico Turns to Social Media for Information and Survival" New York Times . September 24, 2011. Retrieved on June 20, 2012.
  4. "Borderland Beat referenced in Small Wars Journal" Small Wars Journal . June 20, 2012. Retrieved on June 20, 2012.
  5. "Cartel king "El Chapo" getting vicious along Texas-Mexico border" Houston Chronicle . March 28, 2012. Retrieved on June 20, 2012.
  6. "Mexican crook: Gangsters arrange fights to death for entertainment" Houston Chronicle . June 11, 2011. Retrieved on June 20, 2012.
  7. "Gaze Not on the Face of Evil: Massacre by Assembly Line" Horizon. May 26, 2012. Retrieved on October 16, 2012.
  8. 1 2 "Wer Bloggt, dem Droht der Tod" Der Spiegel . November 14, 2011. Retrieved on November 10, 2012.
  9. "Blogger on Mexico Cartel Beheading: 'Cannot Kill Us All'" MSNBC . November 10, 2011. Retrieved on November 10, 2012.
  10. "Mexico's Drug War Takes to the Blogosphere" Bloomberg Businessweek . November 09, 2011. Retrieved on November 10, 2012.
  11. "The Closest Alligator to the Boat: Mexico's Drug-Fueled Violence" US Army War College . January 28, 2011. Retrieved on June 20, 2012.
  12. "Mexico's 'Narco-Refugees': The Looming Challenge for US National Security" US Army War College . October, 2011. Retrieved on June 20, 2012.
  13. "US-Mexico Security Cooperation: The Time to Act Is Now" US Army War College . June, 2011. Retrieved on June 20, 2012.
  14. "Southwest Border Violence: Issues in Identifying and Measuring Spillover Violence" Congressional Research Service . August, 2011. Retrieved on June 20, 2012.
  15. "The Exploitation of Social Media by Clandestine Groups" San Diego State University . July, 2012. Retrieved on June 20, 2012.
  16. "Mexican Drug Trafficking Organizations and Marijuana: The Potential Effects of US Legalization" Archived January 31, 2012, at the Wayback Machine . George Washington University . April, 2011. Retrieved on June 20, 2012.
  17. "Fighting For The Plaza And The Pueblo: Assessing The Role Of Hearts And Minds In The Mexican Drug Conflict" Georgetown University . April, 2012. Retrieved on November 07, 2012.
  18. "A Reputation for Violence" Colgate University . August, 2011. Retrieved on June 20, 2012.
  19. "Tourism Risk Management in an Age of Terrorism" Universidad Autónoma Latinoamericana. June, 2011. Retrieved on June 20, 2012.
  20. "The Transnational Gaze: Viewing Mexican Identity in Contemporary Corridos and Narcocorridos" Oberlin College . May, 2010. Retrieved on June 20, 2012.
  21. "Security Through Partnership: Fighting Transnational Cartels in the Western Hemisphere" Archived November 22, 2012, at the Wayback Machine . Center for a New American Security . March, 2011. Retrieved on June 20, 2012.
  22. "Texas Border Security: A Strategic Military Assessment" Archived December 26, 2012, at the Wayback Machine .Colgen LP. September, 2011. Retrieved on June 20, 2012.
  23. "Mexican Cartel Tactical Note #12" Small Wars Journal . May 31, 2012. Retrieved on June 20, 2012.
  24. "Borderland Beat articles referred to on InSight Crime" [ permanent dead link ] InSight Crime . November 24, 2012. Retrieved on November 24, 2012.
  25. "Borderland Beat articles reproduced on InSight Crime" [ permanent dead link ] InSight Crime . November 24, 2012. Retrieved on November 24, 2012.