The writer behind Mexico's notorious “Blog del Narco” is a young woman who has written a book based on the blog that chronicles that country's bloody drug war.
“Journalism died a long time ago here in Mexico,” said the blogger who wants to be known as “Lucy,” via a Skype.
It’s not her real name, and nor did she want to use the video option in the Skype interview.
“Obviously in Mexico it’s not safe to show my face. It’s not safe to use my name,” said Lucy.
In Mexico, where journalists are routinely killed and news organizations no longer cover drug violence, many people turn to social media and blogs to share information -- anonymously.
The mysterious blogger has written a book titled “Dying for the Truth: Undercover inside Mexico’s Drug War “published by Feral House. It’s available in English and Spanish and sold online.
We have no way to verify she is the blogger, and Lucy does not reveal her identity in the Skype interview.
She says she’s in her 20s, lives in Northern Mexico and is a former journalist. Lucy says she started the blog featuring gory images, exclusive crime scene video and photos because authorities denied the violence and Mexican media no longer reported it.
“The images and videos are proof. We’re not lying.” said Lucy.
She says some of those who contributed to the blog which has rare crime-scene photos and video have been murdered.
Critics say the blog helps cartels spread terror, but Lucy defends the graphic content.
She says the violent images can serve as a warning for young people about the dangers of getting involved with the drug trade.
“By seeing those graphic, strong images, they can say, ‘I don’t want to end up like that. I don’t want my photo to show up on the blog,’” said Lucy.
Millions read Blog del Narco and follow it on Twitter, and that has attracted advertisers. Below one story about an “armed commando” stealing bullet proof trucks from the federal police lot in Chihuahua City there was a web ad for a Chevy truck, and later, a Camaro.
Lucy says she is not rich and started the blog with her own small savings. She says she’s lived frugally and gave up a normal life when she started blogging in 2010.
“It’s been three year’s without a birthday cake.”
The Blog del Narco’s success has spawned copycats including some she says were set up by the criminal groups or Mexican government seeking information from the public.
She blames former President Felipe Calderon for the violence created when he “declared war on the cartels.” She said it was like “hitting a beehive with a stick.”
The blogger says it’s not clear what President Enrique Pena Nieto’s strategy is yet. “Maybe not talking about it is part of his strategy," she adds.
The young blogger says the book made her relive some painful experiences. She says she has nightmares because of the video photos, and stories she posts.
But says she’ll stop writing the blog when peace returns to Mexico.
“I still have hope. I have not lost hope,” said Lucy.