MEXICO CITY – A man who apparently used the Internet to report on the activities of drug traffickers was found beheaded, bound and with signs of torture in Nuevo Laredo, a border city in northern Mexico, police said.
The body of the blogger, who used the name “Rascatripas” on social-networking sites, was discovered on Wednesday.
He was the fourth person murdered in Nuevo Laredo, located across the Rio Grande from Laredo, Texas, for using social-networking sites to denounce criminal organizations.
The man’s body was dumped at the Christopher Columbus Monument on a busy avenue in Nuevo Laredo, which is in the northeastern state of Tamaulipas, a municipal police spokesman told reporters.
The 35-year-old man, according to a banner left by the killers, moderated discussions on a Web that focused on the activities of criminal organizations, especially the Los Zetas drug cartel.
Los Zetas, which operates along the border with the United States, is considered Mexico’s most violent drug cartel.
The Gulf cartel and Los Zetas have been waging a brutal turf war in Tamaulipas that has left hundreds of people dead since last year.
The two drug trafficking organizations are trying to gain control of smuggling routes into the United States.
The victim worked on the same blog as Maria Elizabeth Macias, a 39-year-old journalist whose headless body was found at the monument on Sept. 25.
Macias, who signed her postings “La nena de Laredo” (The Chick from Laredo), used social-networking sites to report on a criminal organization, the Tamaulipas Attorney General’s office said.
A young man and a young woman were murdered and their bodies left hanging off a pedestrian bridge in Nuevo Laredo on Sept. 13 for using social-networking Web sites to report on drug trafficking.
Messages warning others not to use social-networking Web sites to report drug traffickers were left on each of the bodies, and one of the messages was signed “Z,” a reference to Los Zetas.
Heriberto Lazcano Lazcano, known as “El Lazca,” deserted from the Mexican army in 1999 and formed Los Zetas with three other soldiers, all members of an elite special operations unit, becoming the armed wing of the Gulf cartel.
After several years on the payroll of the Gulf cartel, Los Zetas went into the drug business on their own account and now control several lucrative territories.
The cartel has been blamed for several massacres in recent years.
Los Zetas was accused of being behind the Aug. 23, 2010, massacre of 72 migrants, the majority of them from Latin America, at a ranch outside San Fernando, a city in Tamaulipas.
The cartel has also been blamed for the massacre of 27 peasants in May at a ranch in Guatemala’s Peten province, which borders Mexico and Belize.
Zetas gunmen set fire to Monterrey’s Casino Royale on Aug. 25, killing 52 gamblers and employees trapped inside, most of whom died of smoke inhalation. EFE