Mexican journalist killed for using social media

Mexican journalist killed for using social media
Warning from drug cartels from

An employee of a Mexican newspaper was found murdered this past weekend in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico.

The 39-year-old victim worked at Primera Hora and was found decapitated and there was a warning left next to her body believed to be from drug cartels.

She was reportedly killed for using social media to report on drug cartels under the pseudonym La Nena de Laredo, according to Fox News Latino.

The murder comes after two others were tortured and killed on Sept. 13 for reportedly using social media to denounce a drug cartel.

They allegedly used online forums to report on cartel crimes and a message left with their bodies accused them of being snitches, according to Borderland Beat. (Warning this site shows graphic images of the drug violence in Mexico.)

Other journalists have been murdered in recent months in Sinaloa, Veracruz and Mexico City, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Dozens of journalists have been killed in the last five years in Mexico. More than 10 have been killed in 2011, according to the International Press Institute, not including these three recent slayings.

Journalism is a dangerous profession in Mexico and merely reporting the news or using social media to comment on drug cartels can get you killed.

The drug cartels are attempting to stifle freedom of speech now turning to those who have shared information on social networks.

Some professional and citizen journalists have used social media so they could report what is happening in their communities with a veil of safety. But we know now that they are not safe.

Our press freedom is something that we shouldn't take for granted in the United States.

And we should tell the world what is happening in Mexico so the voices of those who risked everything will live on.

Clarified information:

The Tamaulipas state attorney general's office originally identified the victim as Maria Elizabeth Macias Castro and said she was an editor at Primera Hora, according to the Los Angeles Times. The Los Angeles Times cited The Associated Press that interviewed a newspaper employee who said the victim is Marisol Macias Castaneda, and that she had an administrative not an editorial position at Primera Hora.

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