“Broly“, an alleged member of the Knights Templar Cartel, posing for a selfie with his handgun.
Mexican drug cartels are becoming increasingly more sophisticated. In addition to developing more efficient ways to track their product, the cartels have tunnels equipped with lighting, ventilation and electric rail systems.
One such tunnel that stretched from Tijuana to San Diego was shut down by U.S. authorities last week.
The cartels are also using blogs, YouTube, Twitter and Facebook to track down and intimidate rivals, post pics of drug hauls and attempt to rehabilitate their negative public images.
According to Vice, Antoine Nouvet from the Canadian research organization, the SecDev Foundation, has uncovered a treasure trove of evidence that shows a connection between social media and the cartels.
SecDev has been working with the Igarapé Institute on a project called the Open Empowerment Initiative.
The project tracks how cyberspace is empowering individuals and rewiring relations in Latin America.
“They advertise their activities, they conduct public relations initiatives, and they have basically turned themselves into their own media company,” says Nouvet.
“Colombia’s cartel groups or drug traffickers in Myanmar in the 1990s were very sophisticated at public relations, but they didn’t have this massive broadcasting platform.”
SecDev and Igarape have kept a particularly close eye on Knights Templar Cartel (Caballeros Templarios in Spanish.
Knights Templar Cartel leader “La Tuta”
Led by a man known as La Tuta, the Knights Templar Cartel now ranks third behind the Zetas and Sinaloa Cartel, according to InsightCrime.
Broly posted photos of himself and associates brandishing weapons. Pics of vehicles loaded with weed have also been posted.
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