A video address published online in Spanish and English by a self-described member of Anonymous Veracruz, Mexico, accuses Los Zetas, one of the most powerful drug cartels in the country, of kidnapping an unnamed male Anonymous member and holding him hostage.
The video address, published in early October, was apparently made using a text-to-speech program, features footage of a person in a Guy Fawkes mask and threatens that the hacktivist group will release identifying information about the cartel’s businesses and associates if the supposedly kidnapped person isn’t set free or if he is in any way harmed.
“You made a huge mistake by taking one of us. Release him. And if anything happens to him, you (expletive) will always remember this upcoming November 5th,” the address in the video says, according to a translation provided by the Houston Chronicle on Saturday.
The video address notes that the alleged kidnapped Anonymous member was taken from Veracruz, Mexico “when he was doing Paperstorm,” an apparent reference to Anonymous Operation Paperstorm, an international event that encouraged members to take to the streets of their cities with paper flyers, which was coordinated online in December 2010, shortly after the arrest of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange and around the same time as the subsequent revenge dedicated denial of server (DDoS) attacks on a number of websites that cut off support for Wikileaks, including PayPal and Amazon.
Since then, there have been other “Paperstorm” events called for online, including one in March of 2011, so it is unclear exactly which, if any of these events, the video message alludes to.
The message accuses taxi drivers, journalists, newspapers and police officers of being the “servants” of the cartel and threatens to dox them, publishing identifying information about them, including names, photographs and addresses…”to see if by doing so the government will arrest them,” according to the video.
In fact, once identified, the alleged Los Zetas associates and civil servants could be at greater risk of being killed by a rival drug cartel, such as the Sinoloa, the world’s leading trafficker of South American cocaine and the leading adversary of Los Zetas.
As Mike Vigil, retired Drug Enforcement Agency international chief, told the Chronicle: “By publishing the names, they identify them to rivals, and trust me, they will go after them.”
This isn’t the first time Anonymous Veracruz has spoken out against cartel violence. In fact, on September 15, Mexican Independence Day, Anonymous Veracruz successfully took down the official website of the government of Veracruz using a DDoS attack after the government failed to prevent the killing or bring to justice the murderers of three Mexicans, allegedly by drug cartels.
The new video targeting Los Zetas also was posted in the beginning of October, around the same time Anonymous was reported to have begun a coordinated attack against a child pornography forum called Lolita City.
We’ve reached out to Anonymous sources and will update when we receive more information about the cartel warning and other related or simultaneous Anonymous operations.