In the run up to International Women‚Äôs Day (8 March) we are continuing to pay to our murdered and missing female colleagues in Mexico.
Today we remember Maria Elizabeth Mac√≠as Castro, editor-in-chief of the daily newspaper newspaper Primera Hora and blogger.
Maria Elizabeth Mac√≠as Castro was found dead in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas state, on 24 September 2011; her body had been decapitated. A note found next to her accused her of denouncing drug violence on social networks including Twitter and websites such as Nuevo Laredo en Vivo (Nuevo Laredo Live), where members of the public are encouraged to leave messages indicating to the security forces locations where gangs congregate and sell drugs.
The note that was left made reference to the pen name Mac√≠as used when blogging, ‚ÄòLa Nena de Nuevo Laredo’ (The Girl from Nuevo Laredo), and was signed with the letter ‚ÄòZ’, usually associated with the Zetas cartel. Similar notes were found near the bodies of two people discovered hanging from a pedestrian overpass in Nuevo Laredo on 13 September, again warning against writing on websites.
According to our colleagues at the Committee to Protect Journalists, the murder of Mac√≠as marked a ‚Äúpotential watershed‚Äù, in that it was the first case they had documented in which someone was murdered in direct retaliation for journalism posted on social media:
‚ÄúMac√≠as’ murder shows that in the face of seemingly all-knowing, all-powerful organized crime groups, the Internet’s veil of anonymity may no longer offer protection. ‚Äù
The Tamaulipas state government reportedly expressed its “deepest condolences” to Mac√≠as’ family and friends. The state attorney general’s office is investigating the murder.
For more information and to take action, please see http://www.englishpen.org/mexico-murdered-and-disappeared-writers-to-be-remembered-on-international-womens-day-8-march/