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JOURNALISM IN THE AMERICAS Blog

Citizen journalist threatened for reporting on violence in Mexico announces closing of Facebook, Twitter accounts




The message published on Facebook announcing the closing of Valor por Tamaulipas

A Mexican Facebook and Twitter user, who reported on violence and attacks in the north of Mexico, announced on Sunday the definitive closing of the account Valor por Tamaulipas in the coming nine days, reported Proceso.

At the beginning of April, the Valor por Tamaulipas accounts were temporarily suspended without explanation, but were reactivated on Sunday to publish a press release, according to the newspaper El Universal. In February the account captured the public's attention when hundreds of fliers appeared in Tamaulipas, offering a reward for any information that would identify the administrator of the Valor por Tamaulipas account or any of his relatives.

In a written statement posted on Facebook, the administrator warned users to be skeptical of other similar pages since they are sometimes created by people involved in the war against organized crime - either in a gang or part of the authorities.

The anonymous administrator explained that when he created the Valor por Tamaulipas account, he asked a woman who had been reporting violent incidents over Twitter to collaborate on the page. However he soon discovered she was linked to the Gulf Cartel and a police informant. "If not for a few missed meetings that made me suspicious and later confirm what was going on, I would have been collaborating with this person without knowing what I was doing," said the administrator.

In an interview over email with BBC Mundo, the administrator called himself an honest citizen who was ready to put himself at risk to inform the public about insecurity in the state.

The administrator thanked the more than 200,000 people that followed him through social media and helped with the page but added that some of them did so with ulterior motives.



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