Anonymous won't be fighting Mexican drug cartels

After Anonymous threatened vengeance upon the Los Zetas cartel in Mexico over the kidnapping of a member, it was hard to know whether Anonymous would go through with it. Now, the verdict is in: they won't, as Idealab reports.

After claiming they'd be striking on November 5th, the hacktivist collective canceled their operation with only four days until their big day. Having already threatened to hit the New York Stock Exchange and Facebook on the same date, it seemed unlikely they could strike against all three. Claiming they'd strike against a cartel renowned for its violence and criminal abilities (the U.S. Justice Department rank them as the second most powerful cartel in Mexico) was perhaps the least expected action for Anonymous. Why did they choose to cancel their operation? Simple: the Z's called in their own computer experts. Security firm Stratfor released the following statement today:

We have seen reports that Los Zetas are deploying their own teams of computer experts to track those individuals involved in the online anti-cartel campaign, which indicates that the criminal group is taking the campaign very seriously. Those individuals involved face the risk of abduction, injury and death — judging by how Los Zetas has dealt with threats in the past.

Two participants in Operation Cartel, identifying themselves as Skill3r and Glynis Paroubek were transcribed and translated as saying the following to the Milenio newspaper:

“We didn’t want irresponsible administrators to condemn participants [in the Operation] to death. We’ve discussed it extensively and and we all decided to remove it.”

Stratfor previously predicted dire consequences for Anonymous if they went ahead with the strike against Los Zetas. Stratfor predicted a loss of life, should Anonymous go ahead with their intended reveal of journalists, taxi drivers, and corrupt police officers in league with the cartel. If they were also to release the information, these people would be targeted by other cartels seeking to damage the Z's influence.

@AnonymouSabu, the Twitter account of Anonymous hacker Sabu, posted the following conflicting information:

“#OpCartel is more alive than ever and as I told others in private, the war against corruption is on both sides of the spectrum. We are going to WAR!"

The fact they intended to go through with the operation and then canceled for the sake of their members' safety suggests that they have more regard for human life than their enemy, so they are at a disadvantage in that sense. The skill of the Z's hackers is also something to call into question: they could be associated with Anonymous, and have been swayed by the promise of money or other rewards for helping strike against the supposedly leaderless organization. Click here to view the original article on the Anonymous threat against Los Zetas cartel.

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