MEXICO -- The writer behind Mexico's notorious “Blog del Narco” is a young woman who has written a book based on the blog that chronicles Mexico’s bloody drug war.
“Journalism died a long time ago here in Mexico,” said the blogger who wants to be known as “Lucy,” via Skype.
It’s not her real name; she also asked that her face not be visualized in this report.
“Obviously in Mexico it’s no safe to show my face. It’s not safe to use my name,” said Lucy.
In Mexico, where journalists are routinely killed and news organizations no longer cover drug violence, many citizens turn to social media and blogs to share information –– anonymously.
The mysterious blogger has written a book titled “Dying for the Truth: Undercover inside Mexico’s Drug War," published by Feral House. It’s available in English and Spanish and sold online.
KVUE News has no way to verify she is the blogger and Lucy does not reveal her identity in the Skype interview.
She says she’s in her twenties and lives in Northern Mexico. She claims to be a former journalist. Lucy says she started the blog, which often features gory images and exclusive crime scene video, because authorities denied the violence and Mexican media no longer reported it.
“The images and videos are proof. We’re not lying,” said Lucy.
Lucy said some of those who contributed to the blog have been murdered. Critics say the blog helps cartels spread terror but Lucy defends the graphic content. She says the violent images can serve as a warning for young people about the dangers of getting involved with the drug trade.
“By seeing those graphic, strong images, they can say ‘I don’t want to end up like that. I don’t want my photo to show up on the blog,’” said Lucy.
Millions read Blog del Narco and follow it on Twitter. Its following has attracted advertisers: Below one story about an “armed commando” stealing bulletproof trucks from the federal police lot in Chihuahua City, there was a web ad for a Chevy truck. Later, one for a Camaro is featured.
Lucy says she is not rich and started the blog with her own, modest savings. She says she’s lived frugally and gave up a normal life when she started blogging in 2010.
“It’s been three years without a birthday cake," she said.
Blog del Narco’s success has spawned copycats, including some that she says were set up by the criminal groups or by the Mexican government to seek information from the public.
She blames former President Felipe Calderon for the violence created when he “declared war on the cartels." She said it was like “hitting a beehive with a stick.”
The blogger says it’s not clear what President Enrique Pena Nieto’s strategy is yet.
“Maybe not talking about it is part of his strategy," Lucy said.
The young blogger says the book made her relive some painful experiences and that she has nightmares because of the video, photos and stories she posts.
But Lucy says she’ll stop writing the blog when peace returns to Mexico.
“I still have hope. I have not lost hope," she said.