02/19/13 – An anonymous group believed to be a part of a narcotics organization in Tamaulipas, Mexico, has offered a reward of up to 600,000 pesos (roughly $47,250 USD) for information related to the identification and whereabouts of the administrator of the Facebook group called Valor por Tamaulipas (Courage for Tamaulipas), and for similar information of his close relatives. The Valor por Tamaulipas group has a following of over 150,000 users on Facebook, and reports on the daily violence and instability in the region. As reported by Proceso, the anonymous narco-organization distributed pamphlets throughout the region early last week that provided information on the amount of the reward offered and a cell phone number where the group could be reached to offer information.
Univisión has reported that Valor por Tamaulipas formed over a year ago with the intention of serving as a vigilant group informing Tamaulipas citizens of recent and ongoing violence. The group reports on at-risk situations within neighboring cities–information that has served to alert the public on the recent kidnappings, shootings, and extortions perpetrated by the Zetas and the Gulf Cartel.
The administrator of the group responded in a published communication that he is not afraid of the death threats against him, nor does he think of himself a hero. “The Zetas and Gulf Cartel think that all citizens will submit to them and that is not how it is,” said the administrator. “Not all of us will submit to them.” He explained via his communication that by alerting his fellow citizens he was taking on a task that he considered to be his duty. The administrator further expressed that criminal organizations have often tried to intimidate the population, but underestimate the resistance that they may meet from citizens that support groups like Valor por Tamaulipas in doing so. In the emotive statement, the administrator acknowledged that by continuing his activity on the page he would be putting himself and loved ones at risk, however he explained that the natural order of things is not for organized criminal groups to govern valiant good natured citizens. As such, he believes it is his obligation to fight against such abuses pertaining to drug-related violence and the corruption linked to it, the latter which plagues the government and local and federal authorities. Further, he has encouraged the public to act against these abuses and to always take care of themselves and each other while out in public.
Valor por Tamaulipas is one of many groups that has emerged as result of the ongoing violence in Mexico. Similar watchdog and citizen action groups have formed in an attempt to document, alert the public, and bring attention to the ongoing violence throughout the country. The public has increasingly relied on social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter to be informed of the constant violence related to organized crime in the region. The threats against Valor por Tamaulipas are not new, as authors and administrators behind other similar organizations have been the targets of cartel violence in the past. To read more about such incidents, click here.