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Type of site
|News Blog, Forum|
Borderland Beat is an English language blog that reports news about the Mexican Drug War.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 , Small Wars Journal and the Houston Chronicle .
In an article published in May 2012, 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."
A Der Spiegel articleincludes a description of the main features of the Borderland Beat website.
On average, there are between 7 and 10 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 site administrators, using pseudonyms; Chivis Martinez, who also writes 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.[ citation needed ]
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 Dotand MSNBC turned to Borderland Beat administrator "Overmex", while Der Spiegel 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.
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."
Borderland Beat has been used as a reference in academic papers submitted under the auspices of:
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.Likewise, InSight Crime frequently uses Borderland Beat as a reference source and they have also reproduced several Borderland Beat news articles in full.
Osiel Cárdenas Guillén is a Mexican drug lord and the former leader of the Gulf Cartel and Los Zetas. Originally a mechanic in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, he entered the cartel by killing Juan García Abrego's friend and competitor Salvador Gómez, after the former's arrest in 1996. As confrontations with rival groups heated up, Osiel Cárdenas sought and recruited over 30 deserters from the Grupo Aeromóvil de Fuerzas Especiales to form the cartel's armed wing. Los Zetas served as the hired private mercenary army of the Gulf Cartel.
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.
Los Zetas is a Mexican criminal syndicate, regarded as one of the most dangerous of the country's drug cartels. While primarily concerned with drug trafficking, the organization also runs profitable sex trafficking and gun running rackets. The origins of Los Zetas date back to the late 1990s, when commandos of the Mexican Army deserted their ranks and began working as the enforcement arm of the Gulf Cartel. In February 2010, Los Zetas broke away and formed their own criminal organization, rivalling the Gulf Cartel.
The Gulf Cartel is a criminal syndicate and drug trafficking organization in Mexico, and perhaps one of the oldest organized crime groups in the country. It is currently based in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, directly across the U.S. border from Brownsville, Texas.
The Juárez Cartel, also known as the Vicente Carrillo Fuentes Organization, is a Mexican drug cartel based in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, across the Mexico—U.S. border from El Paso, Texas. The cartel is one of several drug trafficking organizations that have been known to decapitate their rivals, mutilate their corpses and dump them in public places to instill fear not only into the general public, but also into local law enforcement and their rivals, the Sinaloa Cartel. The Juárez Cartel has an armed wing known as La Línea, a Juarez street gang that usually performs the executions. It also uses the Barrio Azteca gang to attack its enemies.
The Mexican Drug War is an ongoing asymmetric low-intensity conflict between the Mexican government and various drug trafficking syndicates. When the Mexican military began to intervene in 2006, 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 Sinaloa Cartel, also known as the Guzmán-Loera Organization, the Pacific Cartel, the Federation and the Blood Alliance, is an international drug trafficking, money laundering, and organized crime syndicate established during the late 1980s. The cartel is primarily based in the city of Culiacán, Sinaloa, with operations in the Mexican states of Baja California, Durango, Sonora, and Chihuahua. The 'Federation' was partially splintered when the Beltrán-Leyva brothers broke apart from the Sinaloa Cartel.
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 is an enforcer unit of the Juárez Cartel originally set up by a number of former and active-duty policemen, heavily armed and extensively trained in urban warfare. Their corrupt "line" of policemen were set up to protect drug traffickers, but after forming an alliance with Barrio Azteca to fight off the forces of the Sinaloa Cartel in 2008, they established a foothold in Ciudad Juárez as the enforcement wing of the Juárez cartel. La Línea has also been involved in extortions and kidnappings.
Gente Nueva, also known as Los Chapos, in reference to their drug lord Joaquín Guzmán Loera, is a group of hitmen that works as the armed wing of the Sinaloa Cartel, created to counter the Juárez Cartel influence in the Mexican north-west.
Blog del Narco was a blog that attempted to document the violent incidents and characters involved in the Mexican Drug War that never made it to government reports or the mainstream media.
The Jalisco New Generation Cartel is a Mexican criminal group based in Jalisco and headed by Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes, one of Mexico's most-wanted drug lords. The CJNG are currently fighting La Nueva Plaza cartel for control of the city of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Los Viagras for the state of Michoacán, Los Zetas for the city of Puebla, the Sinaloa cartel in Tijuana and Baja California, the Cartel de Juarez in Ciudad Juarez and the Santa Rosa de Lima Cartel in Guanajuato. The CJNG also operates in the states of Nayarit and Colima. While this cartel is best known for its fights against the Zetas, it has also been battling La Resistencia for control of Jalisco and its surrounding territories.
During the ongoing Mexican Drug War, drug cartels use propaganda through media and scare tactics to gain more control of its people and in many cases corrupting the government. The main goals are to glorify actions of the drug cartels and their lifestyle, gain control of the Mexican society to the highest extent possible, and to recruit new, educated, high class members to increase their power even further. These drug cartels use of propaganda and scare tactics are used in precise, complex and clever ways to get the most out of every action, resulting in their enormous power.
The 2012 Nuevo Laredo massacres were a series of mass murder attacks between the allied Sinaloa Cartel and Gulf Cartel against Los Zetas in the border city of Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, across the U.S.-Mexico border from Laredo, Texas. The drug-violence in Nuevo Laredo began back in 2003, when the city was controlled by the Gulf Cartel. Most media reports that write about the Mexican Drug War, however, point to 2006 as the start of the drug war. That year is a convenient historical marker because that's when Felipe Calderón took office and carried out an aggressive approach against the cartels. But authors like Ioan Grillo and Sylvia Longmire note that Mexico's drug war actually began at the end of Vicente Fox's administration in 2004, when the first major battle took place in Nuevo Laredo between the Sinaloa Cartel and Los Zetas, who at that time worked as the armed wing of the Gulf Cartel.
El Narco: Inside Mexico's Criminal Insurgency is a non-fiction book of the Mexican Drug War written by Ioan Grillo. In El Narco, Grillo takes a close look at the Mexican drug trade, starting with the term "El Narco", which has come to represent the vast, faceless criminal network of drug traffickers who cast a murderous shadow over Mexico. The book covers the frontline of the Mexican Drug War. It seeks to trace the origins of the illegal drug trade in Mexico, the recent escalation of violence, the human cost of the drug trade and organized crime in the country. The book takes a critical stance on the unsuccessful efforts made by the Mexican government and the United States to confront the violence and its causes.
The Cadereyta Jiménez massacre occurred on the Fed 40 on 12–13 May 2012. Mexican officials stated that 49 people were decapitated and mutilated by members of Los Zetas drug cartel and dumped by a roadside near the city of Monterrey in northern Mexico. The Blog del Narco, a blog that documents events and people of the Mexican Drug War anonymously, reported that the actual (unofficial) death toll may be more than 68 people. The bodies were found in the town of San Juan in the municipality of Cadereyta Jiménez, Nuevo León at about 4 a.m. on a non-toll highway leading to Reynosa, Tamaulipas. The forty-three men and six women killed had their heads, feet, and hands cut off, making their identification difficult. Those killed also bore signs of torture and were stuffed in plastic bags. The arrested suspects have indicated that the victims were Gulf Cartel members, but the Mexican authorities have not ruled out the possibility that they were U.S.-bound migrants. Four days before this incident, 18 people were found decapitated and dismembered near Mexico's second largest city, Guadalajara.
The Independent Cartel of Guerrero was a criminal gang based in the Mexican resort city of Acapulco, Guerrero and its surrounding territories. The criminal group came into existence during the rapid decentralization of Mexico's drug trafficking organizations as a split-off group of the Beltrán-Leyva Cartel. Originally, the Beltrán Leyva cartel operated in the city, but the group no longer has presence in Acapulco. After the Mexican military gunned down the top boss of the cartel – Arturo Beltrán Leyva – in December 2009, his brother Héctor Beltrán Leyva took control of one of the factions of the cartel and declared war on Edgar Valdez Villarreal, who had long been the right hand of Arturo. Amidst the violence, Valdez Villarreal tried to appoint a successor, but those in Acapulco broke off and formed their own criminal gang: the Independent Cartel of Acapulco. Within weeks, however, the group had splittered too, forming a new and rival group known as La Barredora. Villarreal Valdez was then captured by the Mexican Federal Police in August 2010, but the violence between the groups for the control of Acapulco continued.
Cartel: The Coming Invasion of Mexico's Drug Wars is a non-fiction book about the Mexican Drug War written by Sylvia Longmire, an independent consultant, freelance writer, and former Air Force captain. In her book, Longmire gives an overview of Mexico's drug war and describes the impact it has on the United States' national security. Drawing from her experience as an intelligence analyst of drug trafficking and border security, the author details the holes of the current drug policy of both the United States and Mexico.
The infighting in Los Zetas referred to confrontations between two factions in that criminal organization, Mexico's most violent, one led by Heriberto Lazcano Lazcano, alias El Lazca and the other led by Miguel Treviño Morales, alias Z-40. The rumors of the split appeared in mid-2012, when public banners and music videos on the web alleged betrayals between the two leaders. After the death of Lazcano it was confirmed that the leaders were not confronting each other, but rather that some men within Morales' faction did not want him as leader.
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.