An anonymous blogger in Tamaulipas, Mexico is fighting back against the cartels, crimes and corruption that this violent state faces.
Mexico has notoriously acquired a negative portrayal in all aspects of the media. The Foreign Office offers advice to British tourists about robbery, assaults and how to avoid being involved in drug related violence.
Current news headlines describe bodies being discovered, people disappearing and other examples of corruption; problems which Enrique Pena Nieto, the country’s president, must address. Protests and anguish remain prominent throughout the country for the 43 students that supposedly went missing in September 2014.
While there is much fear for the safety of journalists and bloggers who express their opinions, in light of the events in Paris and committed by IS, there are individuals who still want to inform people of the truth. To protect their identities, they communicate with the world about the dangers, crime and corruption through blogging and other online resources.
Valor por Tamaulipas (Courage for Tamaulipas) was founded on 1st January 2012 with aims of exposing the “real” Mexico which is often censored. It began as a Facebook page but now has Twitter and a website to inform hundreds of thousands of people about crimes in Mexico, ranging from cartel car-blocks to abductions and shootouts.
The administrator, who remains anonymous, has been nominated for a free-speech award. A public vote to decide the winner is open until 15th February 2015. The site is supported by tip-offs and contributors who risk their safety to inform citizens of the dangers in Tamaulipas.
One of the consistent bloggers to Valor por Tamaulipas was killed in October 2014. The death of María del Rosario Fuentes Rubio was posted on her Twitter, as a threat and warning from the abductors. Bloggers such as Moises Sanchez, Marisol Macias and other individuals have been found decapitated and mutilated as a gruesome and horrifying warning as to the dangers of reporting on cartel activity.
In 2013, cartel members handed out flyers offering the equivalent of £30,000 for the whereabouts of Valor por Tamaulipas’ administrator and his family. After the brutal murders of his colleagues, the administrator stated he would step down from the site, yet he has recently stated “Sometimes I’m not convinced I’m doing enough or that this is effective, but there are many people who believe this community helps… So I’ll have to keep going until I think of a better way of helping my state”.
Other similar sites have been created, for example Blog del Narco, created by “Lucy” to expose the horrific violence censored by the Mexican media. Despite receiving comparable threats to that of Valor por Tamaulipas, this site aims to provide citizens and authorities with vital information and expose the corruption in Mexico.
Although the dangers and consequences of freedom of speech seem terrifying, people from around the world are remaining courageous. Some blog, some write articles and some use social media to express their views, for example #YaMeCanse in light of the 43 missing students. Valor por Tamaulipas, for now, stays strong.