September 30, 2011

Committee to Protect Journalists
The Committee to Protect Journalists says the killing of a Mexican journalist in Nuevo Laredo on Saturday marks the first documented case of murder “in direct retaliation for journalism posted on social media.” María Elizabeth Macías Castro’s body was found decapitated, a computer keyboard nearby, in front of a poster. Macías Castro, 39, had used Twitter and a chat forum on the website Nuevo Laredo en vivo (Nuevo Laredo Live) to report on organized crime. She posted under the pseudonym “La NenaDLaredo” (“the girl from Laredo”). It seems clear from the note left at the crime scene that her identity was discovered, CPJ reports:

If the ghoulish crime scene and props weren’t illustrative enough, the note left by the murderers left no doubt. ‘Ok. Nuevo Laredo Live and social media, I am the Girl from Laredo and I am here because of my reports and yours… ZZZZ.’ The ‘ZZZZ’ signature suggests a link to the vicious Zetas drug cartel.

An editor says that journalists are told not to post anything crime-related from personal social media profiles and to use institutional accounts that aren’t tied to any one person.

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Jeff Sonderman ( is the Digital Media Fellow at The Poynter Institute. He focuses on innovations and strategies for mobile platforms and social media in…
Jeff Sonderman

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