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Mexican Drug Cartels Fight It Out on YouTube
Shocking uploaded videos beggar description
Erich Adolfo Moncada Cota (komodo)     Print Article 
Published 2007-02-18 14:51 (KST)   
A congressional report announced on Jan. 10 that during the six-year term of former President Vicente Fox more than 9,000 people were killed in drug-related crime in Mexico. In just the first three months of the Calderón administration there have been 250 executions, according to Proceso Magazine (14.02.07). This growing trend threatens the peace and prosperity of the United States' next-door neighbor.

Rival drug dealers in Mexico have decided to use the power of the Internet as a channel to vent their disputes, using the popular YouTube video-sharing Web site.

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On Nov. 25, in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, famous "ranchero" artist Valentín Elizalde and three companions were killed by high-caliber gunfire, when heading to a private concert.

It's not uncommon to find "corrido" or "banda" musicians having close ties to drug gangs. Some, eager for fame and a quick fortune, make like modern-day troubadours -- composing "narco corridos" about the misadventures of dealers, police corruption, women, money and guns.

Elizalde reputedly supported the Sinaloa Cartel, headed by Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán, one of the most wanted men in the region. On his last show, Elizalde twice performed a song titled "A mis enemigos" ("To my Enemies"), dedicated to Los Zetas, a paramilitary unit of El Golfo Cartel, commanded by Osiel Cardenas, a drug kingpin extradited to the U.S. by the Mexican government on Jan. 19.

A fragment of the song goes:
The dogs are still barking,
it's a sign that I'm moving forward.
That's how the saying goes.
For those who are talking,
about the people who work
and aren't fooling around

() Keep crying, you snakes
I will wipe you out of my way
And those who really appreciate me
Here's a friend
I've finished singing this "corrido"
To all my enemies.
Several users identified with the Golfo Cartel celebrated by uploading Elizalde's "To my Enemies" to the accompaniment of a slideshow of his body riddled with bullet holes and police photographs of Los Zetas members, one of whom was being executed on camera.

This is the notorious "To my Enemies" video, which contains gruesome images.

On Dec. 7, news broke about the appearance of Elizalde's autopsy video on YouTube. Three employees of a funeral home in Reynosa confessed, admitting filming the body with a cell phone. This led to a public outcry, and the men were prosecuted.

This is the terrible autopsy video.

Both were seen more than 500,000 times. Dozens of users altered and uploaded different versions (there's even one set to the theme song of the U.K. comedian Benny Hill), making it impossible for YouTube staffers to remove them.

Curiously, this old news has acquired international status, thanks to journalist Xeni Jard&iaigu;n's widely circulated article "Mexican Drug Cartels Taunt Each Other with YouTube Videos." She referred to a user nicknamed "Long Live the Mexican Mafia" as one of these crime aficionados.

Here is the link to one of the user's videos, featuring a shooting at the beginning.

The videos posted do not contain footage exclusive to the cartels, the vast majority being songs like the above. Most are collages made by partisans of a faction, taking scenes from TV newscasts and Web page photos with just a few videos of actual executions. It reflects the terrible drug cartel consciousness so deeply rooted in Mexican culture. From the streets to computer screens, this is just one example of the far-reaching tentacles of organized crime.
©2007 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Erich Adolfo Moncada Cota

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