Our Secret War Against Mexican Cartels as They Murder Citizen Journalists

LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images
LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images

Breitbart Texas traveled to the Mexican border cities of Reynosa and Matamoros to recruit citizen journalists willing to risk their lives and expose the cartels silencing their communities.  The writers would face certain death at the hands of the Gulf Cartel if a pseudonym were not used. Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles are published in both English and in their original Spanish. This article was written by the guest columnist @MrCruzstar from Reynosa. 

REYNOSA, Tamaulipas — The kidnapping and likely execution of the social media activist known as “Felina” in Reynosa disrupted the virtual community in Tamaulipas. There are different versions about the development of the sad events and any developments in the case have yet to be made. There have been clues that have not looked into leaving behind a clear message of impunity.

The mystery continues about the kidnapping and virtual death of Maria Del Rosario Fuentes Rubio, the doctor and activist who used the twitter accounts @Miut3 and RespxTamaulipas (later changed to @AyudaxTamps in 2013) to warn about organized crime activities in an altruistic fashion.

In June 2014 a social media campaign to anonymously report on organized crime groups was kicked off in an unofficial fashion, the Doctor was a fierce promoter of this social media campaign on Twitter. This made her a target for criminals but no organized group has claimed responsibility for her murder and her body has not yet been recovered. Lets remember the case of Maria Elizabeth Macias Castro, the “Nuevo Laredo Nena” whose body was decapitated and left on the street with a cardboard sign signed by Los Zetas leaving behind a powerful message.

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FILE COMPLAINTS #reynosafollow WE ARE ALL TIRED OF THESE ILLS, your complaint is valuable and ANONYMOUS.

The case file worked on by the state attorney generals task force for missing individual has the names of Twitter users in Reynosa that were provided by the Doctors’ husband which were never investigated. Some of the social media activists gave clues about the origin of some threats made by anonymous users to @miut3 including some by @garzalaura142.

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@garzalaura142: We are close to several, be careful Felina @garza laura 142: We are going to have fun watching them explain why they wrote about OC (organized crime) @garzalaura142: Stop jerking around felina you must not have any money you starving cat felina. @Garzalaura142: @Bandolera There are your damn Marines doing their stuff not even the people like them why don’t you switch sides. @Garzalaura142: these days Im gonna send you a present so be checking Twitter.

The account @garzalaura142 had been threatening Felina for days before her kidnapping and referring to their likely regrets at having talked about organized crime. The user also made mentions on social media to @miut3 after she had been kidnapped and stated she would sent a present to @bandolera7 in the following days.

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{@garzalaura142: @miut3 felinaaaa we have not heard you where are you @garzalaura142: @miut3 felina where are you felina}

The last message sent by @miut3 was made to a user with the account @THETOPO2992. That account was deleted immediately after the gunmen who had taken Dr. Fuentes Rubio began using her telephone to post messages.

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@miut3: Where are you @THETOPO2992

Due to the lack of a serious investigation, the virtual community in this city took to speculations and rumors in an attempt to make sense of things. Unanswered questions, leaked information, independent investigations, citizen journalists.

That is how the material author of the kidnapping ended up being identified as Jaime Rangel Davila. A search of graphic material turned up two Twitter profiles used by threat man. @GringoJrd (created on October 5, 2012 ) and @jaimedavilaran1 (created on July 8, 2014).

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This murderer is wanted please cooperate with the sedena (Mex Army) this one killed the twitter user miut do not let her death of without punishment.

How can one know if the information is real?– One can not take as fact the information generated by Valor por Tamaulipas nor that the information is verifies. Recent investigations have revealed that the social media platform known as Valor por Tamaulipas has been used to plant information in a way that would distort the perception of the current war against organized crime.  Did the Tamaulipas Attorney General’s Office add this information to their file?

The account @valortamaulipas distorted some facts to give the impression that Fuentes Rubio was a collaborator on the page, in reality the site administrator had run her off in 2013 and she called him out publicly on the way the site was run, the doctor continued to be an activist.

With Dr. Fuentes Rubio’s disappearance the campaign to promote anonymous tips stopped. The blow to the community of social media users in Reynosa and throughout the state was hard. Hundreds of accounts that had been reporting on dangerous activity disappeared. Other accounts changed their name, the fear overcame each user of the hash-tag #reynosafollow, the virtual community became polarized by fingerprinting.

With these actions citizen journalist and social media users in hot zones are suffering the same tactics of censure and terror that have been used for a long time against formal journalist. It is a mix of intimidation, coercion, violence, gossip and impunity to exert control over what becomes a historic truth.

Dr. Fuentes Rubio used an anonymous profile but was too trusting, her close friends said. She often talked with social media users without knowing them beforehand and on occasions she met with them. During her normal days her reporting on criminal activity and shootouts commingled with her talking about her daily life.

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@Miut3: #riobravo sale of illegal fuel Tlaxcala and Matamoros streets. without shame, they even brought chairs

@Miut3: #riobravo sale of illegal fuel Tlaxcala and Matamoros streets. without shame, they even brought chairs

A year after the disappearance of the activist known as Felina, there is new information, a series of private messages points to Dr. Fuentes Rubio having had a meeting with an organized crime member in May 2014 which led to harassment where her job and home address were revealed. her identity had been uncovered.

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@miut3 conversation with unknown person -Hey a so called Black Angel sent me a message that he wanted to meet me. -What Black Angel? -Angelnegro59 that one, he tells me that i caught his attention that i do not know what … yeah right … I am surely dumb -Ah ok. Got it. -Oh God being sexy has its

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-help me block him and mark him as spam he is OC (organized crime) -ok

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@angelnegro59: @miut3 @Agente_Rey call me … I need to an appointment of do I go to your apartment? @Angelnegro59: @Miut3 @Agente_Rey You have a great view from you apartment to the Gemelos bridge. @Miut3 @Agente_Rey How is Gemelos bridge.

The accounts @garzalaura142 and @angelnegro59 were online until there were signs that the persons behind the accounts could be outed. The profiles from Twitter were erased, one on November 2014 and the other one on OCtober 2015. One day after the disappearance of Dr. Fuentes Rubio on October 16, 2014, the virtual community asked that the account @miut3 be suspended. It was an attempt to get off line the the disturbing image of her inert bloodied body with lost eyes that the criminal had posted as her profile photo. When the account was suspended, valuable information was lost which would have helped in the investigations.

In this state there are thousands of missing people, but this case is emblematic because it sends a message of impunity. Any activists and social media user can become a victim without consequences. Any activist and social media user can become a victim without consequences. Even with all the attention generated by the media around the globe the case was never cleared up and the investigations into it have not moved. The inaction by the government shows that social media users not aligned are marked as unruly thus giving violent actors green light to be predators.

Dr. Fuentes Rubio did not remove her profile even after she had been outed. Contrary to what one would expect she increased her activism and offensive language against criminals. On OCtober 2014 another threat was made at social media users after the photograph of a dead  cartel figure known as Polimenso was published.

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With the death of POLIMENSO the blood doesn’t stop we are telling you that it is barely getting started,” the Twitter user @VANASONARBOFO posted.

Dr. Fuentes Rubio felt protected due to the alleged protection given by Twitter profiles that claim to be part of the Mexican military. The profiles run an unofficial campaign of anonymous tips. Dr. Fuentes Rubio was the link between average citizens and armed forces because of the sympathy that she generated amongst her followers. This sadly made her the face of the strategy.

The working relation between the doctor and security agencies gave her access to exclusive material. That material was leaked to social media through her profile @miut3, this working relation resulted in generating tips as well as intelligence. 

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@miut3 mmmm Do they shoot or are they here to look pretty, the damn feds here are just stealing. One contacted me asking me for a phone number and for me to go see him at the Hotel … yeah right and your ice cream what flavor do you want it jerk … dudeeee

The recently created task force for the search of missing persons by Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office should take over the case. We need facts surrounding the events that led to the disappearance of Dr. Rosario Fuentes Rubio and overall #justiceformiut.

And the cyberpolice Pa?