Wow. The most feared drug gang in Mexico, Cartel Los Zetas, finally buckled under pressure. But it wasn’t law enforcement, the military or rival gangsters that made the violent Zetas bow to threats… it was a gang of computer geeks.
A few days ago, the hacking collective known as Anonymous threatened to expose the identities of the Zetas syndicate and their supporters; retaliation for the kidnapping of an Anonymous member in Veracruz, Mexico by the Zetas. To hell with celebrities arguing like bitches on Twitter, this here is real computer beef.
As reported by MSNBC:
“You made a huge mistake in taking one of us,” an Anonymous member says in a YouTube video. “Release him, and if anything happens to him, you will always remember this upcoming Nov. 5.”
The Nov. 5 reference used in the threat falls in line with the lore and mystery on which the hacktivist group thrives. That date is Guy Fawkes Day, the anniversary of the discovery of the 1604 plot to blow up the British Parliament, referenced in the movie “V for Vendetta.”
“We demand his release,” the Anonymous representative, in a suit, tie and mask, says. “We want the army and the navy to know that we are fed up with the criminal group Zetas, who have concentrated on kidnapping, stealing and blackmailing in different ways.”
The drug cartel, known as the Zetas, is one of the most powerful and violent crime organizations in Mexico, responsible for extortion, assassinations and kidnapping along with illegal drug trade. If the Zetas don’t release the unnamed Anonymous hacker they allegedly kidnapped, Anonymous says it will expose cartel secrets as well as the identities of the journalists, taxi drivers and police officers it believes are complicit in allowing the Zetas to thrive.
Anonymous tossed its glove into the ring but how would the Zetas respond? The murderous cartel is known for it’s stomach-churning acts of carnage (see our previous post: MEXICAN DRUG CARTELS DON’T FUCK AROUND). They’ve got the police and the government scared to death.
Anonymous hacks computers but Cartel Los Zetas hack body parts…
But surprisingly, the Zetas released the kidnapped Anonymous member. Score one for computer nerds all over the world. Still, the gangsters let it be known that things ain’t sweet.
As reported yesterday by NineMSN:
Cartel Los Zetas was forced to release a kidnapped member of Anonymous after the activist hacking group threatened to expose the gang’s corrupt supporters.
After the release of the Anonymous threats, the kidnapped member was released with a note that promised to kill 10 people for every name exposed by the group.
“On this day, our anonymous friend retained by the Zetas cartel has been released,” a statement on its website said. “We can say that while bruised, he is alive and well. He has sent us a message that if Anonymous reveals a name related to the cartel, the family of the kidnapped anonymous will suffer, and for each cartel member revealed, 10 people will be put to death.”
Despite the apparent cease-fire between Anonymous and Los Zetas, one hacker has vowed to continue the fight against the cartels.
Barrett Brown, who has reportedly acted as the public face for Anonymous in the past, posted comments on Pastebin that said while the Zetas action was cancelled, he “will be going after other cartels with the assistance of those who have come forward with new information and offers of assistance”.
This entire incident reminds me of the futuristic Ghost In The Shell anime series, where computer programmers do battle with gangs like the Yakuza. It would’ve been interesting to see who Anonymous exposed, though. I bet a lot of U.S. government officials and American bankers were shaking in their boots at the prospect of being outed.
At least for today, keyboards & hard drives won out over guns & machetes.