Drug violence in Mexico has found a home on the Internet as cartels fill YouTube and chat rooms with videos of graphic, violent images, USA Today reported April 10.
Some videos feature professional singers blasting out ballads about drug-cartel leaders as images of murder victims — sometimes including slain police officers — flash across the screen. Cartel supporters use the comments section to swap insults with rivals.
The videos are meant to intimidate enemies and recruit supporters, said Scott Stewart, vice president of Statfor, a global-intelligence company based in Texas.
Officials at YouTube have seen the cartel videos, said Victoria Grand, who heads up the company’s policy division. She said YouTube removes graphic, violent videos if people flag it as offensive and the material lacks documentary or educational purposes. ” If the video is clearly violent and the purpose is to shock or disgust, we will remove it,” Grand said.
Cartel videos first surfaced in 2005, not long after similar videos came up on insurgent websites in Iraq. However, the cartels added more sophisticated videos after early entries were removed.
U.S. and Mexican officials routinely monitor the videos for information on cartel tactics and intentions.