Blogueros, no Periodistas

Aug 26th, 2010 | By Michel Marizco | Category: General News, Politics
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THE BORDER REPORT

About two weeks ago, a blog that professed to illuminate the drug wars in Mexico, but did little more than cut and paste news stories from Mexican news websites, made the big time with a write-up by The Associated Press.

Today, it’s under a new visage; BlogDelNarco was a blogspot account started in March of this year, a clearinghouse of Mexico drug cartel combat stories. Now it’s mundonarco.com. The site was initially hosted by Google as a blogspot account, so it’s possible that Google removed the site because of it’s graphic content. You’ll recall that a few months ago, they tried that nonsense with me, threatening to remove advertising if I didn’t remove graphic photos.

The AP profiled the blogger under a premise I considered misleading: “Narco-blogger beats Mexico drug war news blackout

The story made the argument that as Mexican media retreated from covering the drug wars and the cartels ravaging the country, a lone, anonymous blogger had taken to publishing accounts reporters feared to write themselves.

The reality was a cut-and–paste clipjob that constantly lifts existing content without attribution or even a link to the original story. I found this and the resulting AP story offensive because it minimized the hard work of Mexican journalists who continue to do their jobs in spite of the threats against them.

In fact, here’s a blogger who accuses BlogdelNarco of plagiarism, saying the blogger steals not only his stories, but his photos, as well (thank you, ilegal, for pointing this one out).

As an American journalist and blogger, I’m under no illusion that I live in the same threatening climate as my Mexican colleagues. It’s simply not the same animal. An El Debate newspaper reporter whose family lives in Culiacán, whose kids go to the same schools as the children of the associates of Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, is at far greater risk than me or any other American journalist working in Mexico. In fact, I can only think of two American journalists, a daily newspaper reporter and a television reporter who wouldn’t appreciate their names being placed here, that work under the same threat as Mexican crime and political reporters. A blogger in Mexico, working remotely, never showing their face, is no Mexican crime reporter, I promise you.

Journalism in Mexico is under siege and has been for several years running. The country has consistently maintained the top tier of dangerous places to work as a reporter since 2005. Profiling a cheap hack and pretending they’re doing their own work is an insult to the country’s profession.

BlogDelNarco had some scoops in its short time – but so do narconews, lavidamafiosa, an excellent blog I used to check daily, El Ciudadano, a great Nogales, Sonora, blog, and Maggie’s Madness, usually murder photos and videos passed around the Internet by people with a heavy interest in these affairs.

One thing Blogdelnarco does do well is act as a portal for chats about narco-trafficking. This is an important dynamic, even in the age of anonymous commenters. But let’s not pretend the site is replacing original fact-gathering. That is an expensive endeavor that doesn’t happen by keyboard alone.

I’ve written to the owner of BlogdelNarco to ask him about this lifting of content but haven’t yet received a response. But whatever his answer will be, there is a tremendous difference between a journalist who creates original content and a blogger who cuts and pastes it and claims it for their own.

Now, bloggers and new media pundits will argue that information wants to be free. I’d argue that information doesn’t care. Ironically, The Associated Press recognizes the difference, or at least, it’s lawyers do. Earlier this year, The Associated Press filed complaints and threatened to sue a blogger who’d done much the same thing blogdelnarco is doing. Apparently, when an American blogger lifts AP’s stories, this is deemed “misappropriation.” When a Mexican blogger lifts everybody else’s, this is deemed giving the public “what they can’t get elsewhere.”

Footnote: At the time The AP’s story came out, I was also confused by the name:

There’s “blogdelnarco” the website that The AP profiled and there is “elblogdelnarco” a website that does much the same type of cut-and-paste lifting but has existed since 2007.

24 comments
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  1. Maybe the Mexican media should put a price on “Super Blogger” who till this day remains anonymous..For ripping of their story’s..LoL..I wonder what will happen to the person who runs the site should his name become public information in Mexico..FYI Narco News sucks..All the rest you mentioned I aint to familiar with exept LVM and even that forum gets stale and all people do is talk smack to each other.

    [Reply]

    YeYo Reply:

    Fisrt!! F-You Vincent Hanna.J/K

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    Vincent Hanna Reply:

    Eddie, fook You Eddie!!!

    [Reply]

  2. the owner sinful writes his own stuff and gets the nice pictures before the blog del narco, he has a nice article about how he found out, through google earth, about cops being halcones for kidnappers http://sinfulmx.com/2010/08/24/halconeando-hasta-a-google/

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    Michel Marizco Reply:

    Wow; I hadn’t seen this blog before. Thank you, ilegal.

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  3. Thanks for considering me for your post, I love to write about the topics that I know or care, I have no respect for those that only copy-paste from the news, when all the international media went nuts about blog del narco it really made me feel unconfortable, not only because all the hype, but because that blogger claims all the posts are his doing.

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    The Rabbit Reply:

    Dude, really good stuff. Wow!

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    ilegal Reply:

    blog del narco’s owner even had the balls to tell Sinful that he was in fact, stealing his work, can you believe that shit?

    [Reply]

    Marcus Reply:

    Is there a translation function like blog del narco?

    [Reply]

    slimey Reply:

    Yes – to translate a spanish webpage to any other language, go to: http://translate.google.com and enter the webpage you want translated.

    It’s not perfect, but good enough to understand. Blog del Narco also has a built-in translate button in the top left that will also do the job for you.

    Also, everyone is saying that blogdelnarco was shut down and moved to mundonarco.com.
    However, I’m looking at it right now and it seems to be working fine. Both sites appear to working and appear to be mirror images, unless I’m missing something.

    [Reply]

    ilegal Reply:

    you’re right, and he posted the immigrant’s picture without blurring his face, again, both sites are from the same guy.

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  4. I can’t help but take a look at these 3 examples below, the first story being from the AP which posted it about 10 hours ago, the second from the LA Times, which posted Feb of this year, and finally the third from the NY Times which posted July 18th, 2009.

    Now what interest me is not the different stories I have posted below, but that these stories ARE ALL THE fookING SAME, now I’ve fooking lost it. The fooking AP post a story that I had already heard about and knew about from not just a few months ago, but from a year ago, and i’ll bet if I looked closer, there was a story 3 YEARS AGO, telling me the same fookING THING.

    The best part of these stories? Want to know the best part of the lame ass copycat stories? In every fooking story they get a quote from some asshole on the Federal Law Enforcement level, I can just see it, some David Puddy voiced motherfooker in his office telling some dipshit reporter “We just hope we catch as many as possible, sometimes we do, sometimes we get lucky” or “We hope to be in the right place at the right time” or “well what is happening here is that we have secured the border so they look for other ways to get into the country.” I’m sorry MOTHERFCUKER, did you just tell me that first of all you are STUPID enough to actually quote yourself saying that? as if you should be proud? And secondly, LUCKY? fooking LUCK? Are you telling me that what you do for a living is actually measured by a game of chance? MY fookING GOODNESS.

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iqbWNzfU5DdiyvhzF8LWGm4ltNiAD9HR9V2O5

    http://articles.latimes.com/2010/feb/06/local/la-me-smuggling-boats29-2009mar29

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/18/us/18smuggle.html

    [Reply]

    Rabbit Reply:

    dude, it’s all the same shit. You should know this. I always say, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

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  5. Que pedo y alrato sale otro wey que Sinful se las roba de el/ella//..mamadaz ni que se fueran hacer ricos.

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  6. check this shit out, “thanks” to blog del narco, the zetas knew who the surviving immigrant was, and now they are threatening his family….. María I., esposa de un primo del ecuatoriano que sobrevivió a la matanza de migrantes en Tamaulipas, aseguró que el ‘coyote’ que sacó a Freddy de su comunidad ha amenazado a sus familiares de muerte si proporcionan su número celular.

    Según publicó la BBC en su portal de internet, en la comunidad rural de Ger, al sur de Ecuador, existe mucho temor y angustia por la situación física del joven, pero también por las amenazas que han recibido por parte del traficante de personas.

    De acuerdo con las declaraciones de la mujer, “el ‘coyote’ dijo que no le volvamos a molestar y apagó su celular. Él había dicho (a un familiar de Freddy) que no dé (a otras personas) el número de su teléfono celular. Le ha hecho tener miedo diciendo que le va a matar si avisa”.

    Freddy L. trabajaba como agricultor cuando decidió reunirse con sus padres que se encuentran en Nueva Jersey, Estados Unidos; salió de su comunidad en el mes de julio pero no pudo terminar su camino.

    El joven logró escapar del rancho en Tamaulipas donde fueron asesinadas 18 mujeres y 54 hombres. Fue quien recibió un balazo en el cuello y se hizo pasar por muerto; gracias a ello pudo avisar a la policía sobre la matanza.

    Ahora se encuentra en calidad de testigo protegido y su estado físico es una de las grandes preocupaciones de su familia en Ecuador, que ahora se han sumado a las amenazas que ha recibido.

    El ecuatoriano había pagado unos 11 mil dólares al ‘coyote’ para ser trasladado a Estados Unidos, país al que deseaba llegar para trabajar y enviar dinero a su esposa Angelita, de 17 años de edad, quien además está embarazada, señala la BBC.

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  7. I read that the Blog Del Narco posted up facebook links to the pages of ‘alleged traffickers and their children’, and I think thats crossing a line, from reporting news…..to something else. I don’t know about the Zetas, and the survivor, the story on Borderland Beat, (which is a good source) has the mans face blocked out. It’s a shame with the police and military corruption that the man is not exactly in the safest of hands, I’d like to see the US intervene here, and let the man, and his family from down south stay here under amnesty or something like that, really doubtful though. However, there is a good chance that the Zeta’s would get tipped off to that guy’s identify, probably before the articles and the story even broke. Even with their dwindling and diminished resources the Zeta’s still probably have contacts in the lower levels of most establishments in areas of Tampulias.

    Un related, but Michael, I’m sure you have your hands full, but in the future. I’d love to see an investigative report/article on whats going on in Tijuana right now, I’m considering writing one myself, because I don’t see any news outlet (including the Zeta) covering it. There are multiple execution/Organized crime murders every week, more then in 2009/2008, and seemingly no explanation, with rumors swirling that the Zeta’s are with CAF. that Sinaloa is trying again to take the plaza, that CAF is finished (despite reports to the contrary), I think it has a lot of elements for a really interesting piece.

    [Reply]

    ilegal Reply:

    blog del narco made the mistake of posting the picture of the surviving immigrant without blurring it, i think the person who took the picture in the first place should be prosecuted, less than an hour before blog del narco was taken down, Calderon stated that he was worried about the immigrant’s picture being leaked to the general public.

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  8. I saw the fellow’s picture in the hospital in the Brownsville News paper 24 hour before the NarcoBlog had it up. The face was not blurred in that American Paper.

    [Reply]

  9. car bomb in Televisa Tamaulipas.

    [Reply]

  10. Now they found the bodies of the guys investigating the murders of the 72 people. This is going to get worse.

    [Reply]

  11. Does anyone have any opinion about the blog called: http://todosobrenarcotraficoenmexico.blogspot.com

    I haven’t heard anybody mention it, but it has frequent posts, many of them graphic.

    [Reply]

    ozzone Reply:

    that site used to be pretty good. they had a lot of stories but they all copy from somewhere. very few write their own stuff. this site hasn’t been updated since 6/7/10 though. maybe they blogger got caught up by the narcos.

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  13. […] More: http://borderreporter.com/2010/08/blogueros-no-periodista/ BlogDelNarco had some scoops in its short time – but so do narconews, lavidamafiosa, an excellent blog I used to check daily, El Ciudadano, a great Nogales, Sonora, blog, and Maggie’s Madness, usually murder photos and videos passed around the Internet by people with a heavy interest in these affairs. There’s “blogdelnarco” the website that The AP profiled and there is “elblogdelnarco” a website that does much the same type of cut-and-paste lifting but has existed since 2007. http://borderreporter.com/2008/09/decapitations-whats-next/ ————————————————————————————————– The Gulf Cartel is one of the oldest and most powerful of Mexico’s criminal groups but has lost territory and influence in recent years to its rivals, including its former enforcer wing, the Zetas. http://www.insightcrime.org/groups-mexico/gulf-cartel http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blog_del_Narco http://www.blogdelnarco.com […]

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