Screenshot from a video posted on Blog del Narco, reportedly showing Mexican drug lord "El Ponchis" torturing and executing a victim.
An anonymously run blog has become the go-to site for information on the country’s bloody drug war, covering stories that the mainstream media can’t or won’t. Our Observer, herself a blogger anonymously covering drug violence and corruption, tells us why she thinks this kind of reporting is essential to Mexican society.
Operating from behind a curtain of anonymity and computer security, Blog del Narco gives a graphic inside view of the kidnappings, killings and torture carried out by Mexico’s powerful drug gangs. Launched in March, the blog shot to fame in July after it helped lead to a major arrest, when a video posted detailed a prison warden’s system of setting inmates free at night to carry out drug cartel murders.
France 24 tried to contact the authors of Blog del Narco to request an interview but received no response. In one of their rare e-mail interviews, the authors, apparently a computer scientist and journalism student, told French website Bakchich that “only three people knew their full identities, and that was already too much”. 
Since early 2007, over 30,000 people have died in drug-related violence in Mexico. The country has become one of the most dangerous places in the world for journalists: at least 30 have been killed or have disappeared since 2006 and many news organisations have been attacked with bombs and gunfire.
Screenshot of a video posted on Blog del Narco, showing a woman identified as Juana Gabriela Márquez Sabá from Torreon confess to collecting racket money from the town's shopkeepers on behalf of criminal gang La Linea. She was shot in the head and her body found on October 12.
Screenshot of a video posted on Blog del Narco showing the interrogation of Mario Angel Gonzalez Rodriguez, brother of former Chihuahua state prosecutor Patricia Gonzalez Rodriguez, by heavily armed and masked men.

Some of the graphic images posted on Blog del Narco

Police car ambushed by criminal gang in Lagos de Moreno, Jalisco, in November 2010.
Photo of Matamoros prison inmates killed when a gunfite broke out on August 9.

“Clearly, there is a major information gap that bloggers have stepped in to fill.”

Corajecivil (pseudonym) is the anonymous author of the blog Mexicanos al Grito (Mexicans Cry), which reports and comments on instances of “corruption, drug violence and other Mexican truths”.
The government and mainstream media each have their own reasons for not reporting this kind of event. The government fears any information that could damage its reputation. The media are afraid: journalists who cover these stories are regularly threatened, even killed. As a result, the government and major media outlets maintain a close relation and work together to filter what information is published. Clearly, there is a major information gap that bloggers have stepped in to fill.
“Many postings appear to come directly from traffickers themselves”
I find much of the content on Blog del Narco unbearably cruel and violent, and I’m personally not interested in watching such graphic content. However, they do reflect a certain reality, and I believe that their information is more trustworthy than that given by the mainstream media. Journalists say they cannot report on this kind of information without putting their own lives in danger. Similarly, people who talk about what is going on in their own towns or villages do so anonymously. They have no choice. Their lives are at risk. That’s Blog del Narco’s strength: people can send content completely anonymously, regardless of whether they are common citizens or drug traffickers.
Many people have an interest in making these images public. Several postings appear to come directly from traffickers themselves, who use the blog to publish warnings or intimidate their rivals. Others depict crime scenes accessible only to the military or police, suggesting that law enforcement officials also contribute. Of course, not everything published on blogs is 100% reliable. However the reader comments – an open forum where people can confirm or deny any situation – can serve as a filter against gross misinformation.
“Blogs like this are a sort of historical record, documenting facts that would otherwise be ignored or forgotten.”
Blogs like this are a sort of historical record, documenting facts that would otherwise be ignored or forgotten. The psychopaths, serial killers and drug addicts, the dead, the mutilated, the murdered bodies hung on bridges, the hungry, the destitute, the orphaned children and widowed spouses, the corrupt and cynical politicians, the corrupt justice system, the irresponsible businessmen… All this is real, and people have a right to know.”
Post written with France 24 journalist Lorena Galliot.