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Drug cartel kills Mexican blogger

Woman decapitated after posting on anti-crime site

Mark Stevenson Associated Press

MEXICO CITY – The killing of a Mexican woman purportedly in retaliation for her postings on an anti-crime website has left stunned chat users and employees at the newspaper where she worked wondering who can still be safe in the violent border city of Nuevo Laredo.

Press freedom groups condemned the killing of Maria Elizabeth Macias, whose decapitated body and head were found Saturday next to a message citing posts she wrote on Nuevo Laredo en Vivo, a website used by Laredo residents to denounce crime and warn one another about drug cartel gunfights and roadblocks.

Some bloggers vowed to keep up the fight against drug cartels but warned users to trust no one.

“If we want to regain our peace and our freedom, we always have to fight on, I wouldn’t ask anybody to take up arms, clearly, but with our reports, we can do them damage,” said one poster logged on as “anon9113,” who quickly added a note of distrust: “Don’t become friends with anybody on here. … We have to be careful with something as simple as giving out personal information.”

Another poster agreed. “Exactly, this (Macias’ death) should not be in vain, we should make it an example.” Others said that despite the risk, they would continue reporting. One user posted that he had seen four drug-gang lookouts in a compact car near a gas station, and gave part of the car’s license plate number.

Macias had previously been identified by an official in Tamaulipas state as Marisol Macias, who had worked as a newsroom manager for the Nuevo Laredo newspaper Primera Hora. But an editor at Primera Hora said Monday that Macias was the daily’s advertising supervisor. The editor would not give his name for security reasons.

The editor said the killing apparently was not related to Macias’ job at the daily, which, in the face of intimidation and threats by drug gangs, had stopped even reporting on drug violence two years ago.

“We were taken by surprise, because since about two years ago, we don’t even do crime reporting,” said the editor. “We don’t have a crime reporter.”

The paper, according to weekend editions posted on its website, has not even reported on her death.

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