Bloody bodies — slumped at steering wheels, stacked in pickup trucks, crumpled on sidewalks — fill nearly every frame of a music video that shook Mexico’s criminal underworld, the Washington Post reports. Posted on YouTube and manys Mexican Web sites last year, the video sparked what is believed to be an unprecedented cyberspace drug war. Chat rooms filled with accusations that he was promoting the Sinaloa cartel and mocking its rival, the Gulf cartel. Drug lords flooded the Internet with images of beheadings, execution-style shootings and torture.
A singer featured on the video was shot to death soon after it was circulated. The episode highlighted a surge of Internet activity by Mexican drug cartels, whose mastery of technology gives them a huge advantage over law enforcement agencies. Using the model of terrorist groups like al-Qaeda, the cartels view the Web as a powerful means of transmitting threats, recruiting members and glorifying the narco-trafficker lifestyle of big money, big guns, and big thrills. Mexican drug raids routinely net cameras, computers, and intricate computerized surveillance systems along with the usual piles of cash, cocaine and weapons. Hit men are just as likely to pack video cameras as “goat’s horns” (AK-47 assault rifles). Mexican police have been slow to recognize the Internet as a font of clues, a mistake that boosts the ability of the cartels to work in the open.