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MEXICO: THE WAR AGAINST DRUG CARTELS
MEXICO: THE WAR AGAINST DRUG CARTELS
The fight against drug cartels continues in Mexico. The latest success for the authorities is this weekend’s arrest of one the country’s most wanted drug traffickers, Sergio Villareal, also known as “El Grande”. Security forces are presenting this raid as a victory, yet the country has been coping with this war against drug cartels since 2006, and over 28 000 people have been killed. Recently this conflict has moved online.
More and more bloggers are trying to take over from traditional media in the coverage of this war. The site “blogdelnarco”, created by Mexican university students regularly posts articles, videos and photos online. These images were taken at the moment of Villareal’s arrest. These reports make it possible to follow news on the drug cartel war in close to real time, and the information is sourced from citizens, the police and also directly from the drug cartels.
The drug cartels have understood all too well, how they can use the web to their benefit. For several months now, hundreds of videos made by drug traffickers have been flooding on to the Mexican web. In these clips, certain cartels boast about their exploits and directly threaten the authorities. And several videos also depict drug traffickers holding members of rival groups’ hostage in order to intimidate them.
This blogger denounces the situation and call’s TouTube “NarcoTube”. He feels the video sharing platform has become a place for drug cartels to manage their public relations. He is sorry the authorities have little power against them.
ECUADOR: TOWARDS THE REMOVAL OF THE PRESIDENT?
Will Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa, be forced to resign before the end of his mandate in 2013? This is the question currently stirring up the local web, as a popular initiative is in motion trying to gather citizen votes to force the head of state to quit his position.
According to journalist, Carlos Vera, who has been involved in the initiative from the outset, Ecuadorians have many reasons to force the president to step down and is posting numerous messages like this one on his web site and also on his YouTube channel, asking citizens to express their rejection of Rafael Correa’s policies and denounce his time in power, deemed catastrophic.
This blogger has hailed the initiative, and has made a list of 10 reasons why citizens should demand the removal of the president. Some of the grievances listed are the increase in violence and also the lack of willingness from the government to wipe out corruption.
Despite these arguments, some are wondering if this initiative is well founded. As this web user recalls, the country is divided. This Twitter user says for example that because Correa was elected democratically, his removal could leave the country politically unstable.
As for this blogger, he says that for the popular initiative to be valid, it must have support from 15 % of the electoral body, that’s over 1 million 500 000 voters. If this recent survey broadcast online is anything to go by, then this high figure could be reached. It says that 40 % of the country does not support president Correa.
Recently launched Google Instant is instantaneous predictive search. Google is now offering a service where you will start seeing search results as soon as you begin typing, before you have even pressed enter. Google says there are two advantages: firstly it is much quicker, and secondly it provides smarter results. Google displays what it feels are the most pertinent results depending on the first letters entered into the search bar.
INTERVIEW WITH BILL CLINTON ON YOUTUBE
Interview Bill Clinton via YouTube. The former US president will be answering questions sent in by web users for the Clinton Global Initiative, an annual event organized by his foundation in September. Economic development, education, health, new technologies, all subjects will be approached. But only the questions with the most votes online will be submitted to Bill Clinton.
VIDEO DU JOUR
After Tetris, Pong and Space Invaders, here’s the life size reconstruction of Pac-Man. Continuing with his Game over Project, Belgian artist Guillaume Reymond uses a hundred or so human pixels to pay tribute to this legendary video game.