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Monday, 9 April 2007
Spreading Barbarism Bookmark and Share
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WaPo: MEXICO CITY -- Bloody bodies -- slumped at steering wheels, stacked in pickup trucks, crumpled on sidewalks -- clog nearly every frame of the music video that shook Mexico's criminal underworld.

Posted on YouTube and countless Mexican Web sites last year, the video opens with blaring horns and accordions. Valentín Elizalde, a singer known as the "Golden Rooster," croons over images of an open-mouthed shooting victim. "I'm singing this song to all my enemies," he belts out.

Elizalde's narcocorrido, or drug trafficker's ballad, 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.

Within months, Elizalde was dead, shot 20 times after a November concert. His enemies exacted their final revenge by posting a video of his autopsy, the camera panning from Elizalde's personalized cowboy boots to his bloodied naked body.

Elizalde's narco-ballad video and its aftermath highlight a new surge of Internet activity by Mexican drug cartels, whose mastery of technology gives them a huge advantage over law enforcement agencies. Following the model of terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda, the cartels have discovered 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...

"With an order from the boss, more heads will roll," an unknown performer sings. As the singer wails, the screen fills with an image of a blood-smeared floor and four heads severed from their bodies. It ends with a pistol shot into the forehead of a supposed gang member and a gushing wound....

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Posted on 04/09/2007 9:15 AM by Rebecca Bynum
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