Mexican drug cartels taunt each other with YouTube videos – UPDATED

Update: News reports indicate that YouTube administrators are monitoring and removing these Mexican drug cartel "terror videos" as they come, but there does seem to be a lot of related footage still available. For instance, "The Sinaloa Cartel Presents el Chapo," a video celebrating the leader of the Sinaloa cartel. The uploader's name translates to "Long live the Mexican Mafia."

Update 2: Image above from a copy, still on YouTube, of one of the videos referenced in the LA Times story: "A mis Enemigos – Los Mate." Video Link. Also still on YouTube, more Mexican drug gang video referenced in these reports: Video Link. I see many others still live on YouTube.


Mexican police are looking into claims that drug gangs are posting terror videos on YouTube, in which rivals dis each other and stake territorial claims:

For months, video artists and videographers of varying skill have been peppering the Internet with a gruesome cavalcade of images: a woman slain in the cab of a pickup truck, an alleged Mafia hit man being tortured and executed, an assassinated singer's body splayed on a coroner's table.

Many of the videos are posted at one time or another on the website YouTube. They seek to cheer on or denigrate the opposing sides in Mexico's drug wars, the Sinaloa cartel led by Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman and the Gulf cartel believed led, until recently, by Osiel Cardenas. Mexican authorities extradited Cardenas last month to face charges in a U.S. courtroom.

Last week, assassins armed with both assault weapons and cameras appeared to take the cultural battle to a new level. Police said two groups of gunmen videotaped themselves Tuesday as they killed five officers and two secretaries at police stations in Acapulco.

Link to the 2/11/07 Los Angeles Times story by Héctor Tobar. Image: A frame from a video that appeared on YouTube, depicting the death of a Sinaloa cartel victim.

Here's another related story from Reuters:

One popular video on the site shows a man being shot in the head. A stomach-churning series of photos shows another execution victim, his face a mangled mess of flesh.

Link. (Thanks, Josué)

Reader comment: eduardo says,

The foto on your post (of the inside of a truck) shows not the drug traffickers but the body of Valentín Elizalde, a famous mexican singer, and his manager who were shot by the drug-cartel mercenaries, supposedly. More @ wikipedia [Link]

Reader comments: W. Vann Hall says,

Thanks to yesterday's news coverage, I spent much of last evening avoiding work by searching YouTube for cartel videos. Like you, I found a number, usually set to corridos or dub-heavy raps. What I *didn't* find, though, was what I had been led to believe I'd find; namely, clips containing photos or videos shot by cartel members themselves. Instead, any images of carnage or caches of weapons, drugs, or money, all appeared to be taken from the media: television news coverage or print or web magazines.

I've occasionally used footage from the Zapruder film while VJing. If I were to upload a clip taken from one of my live performances, should I expect to find Jim Garrison at my door? (Well, no, because he's dead, but you get my drift.)