Two Mexicans face 30 years in jail for Twitter "terrorism"

Debate has sparked recently around the fate of two Mexican citizens who recently were arrested for “terrorism and sabotage.” Using Twitter and Facebook, both alleged “terrorists” posted information about kidnappings and shootings in a part of the city of Veracruz, Mexico. Both events posted through social media turned out to be false, but chaos still ensued in the local area.

Gilberto Martinez Vera, a 48-yer-old teacher, is said to have tweeted that “five children have been taken away by an armed group” in the city of Veracruz and that there is “total psychosis in the area.” Authorities also report that Maria de Jesus Bravo Pagola, a former government official, wrote that a helicopter had opened fire at a school while children were outside on their break.

Despite the claims being completely false, mass hysteria was caused in the city that resulted in upwards of 20 car crashes. The Veracruz interior secretary said people had left cars in the middle of streets to pick up their kids because “they thought these things were occurring at their children's schools.” The actions caused by the two had apparently angered the governor of the state enough to seek terrorism charges for them.

The outrage has been caused due to the fact that both citizens could face up to 30 years in prison for their actions. The pair insists that they are innocent of any such crimes and say that they were merely resending information that was already circulating social media websites. Human rights groups including Amnesty International have been outraged at the charges which they say are “unfair and violates their right to justice and freedom of expression”.

Not only have human rights activists been outraged but so too the social networking population, as thousands of users voice their complaints that two people could face up to 30 years behind bars for posting a single tweet or Facebook post.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Toshiba to release two-way WiFi SD card in 2012

Next Story

Large number of Dirt 3 Steam codes leaked online

16 Comments

Freedom of expression? Yeah, pretty sure that doesn't extend to idiots posting fake stories of shootings and kidnappings. Throw 'em in the slammer.

joep1984 said,
Freedom of expression? Yeah, pretty sure that doesn't extend to idiots posting fake stories of shootings and kidnappings. Throw 'em in the slammer.

Wow, really? You think it's OK to be punished (as harshly as a murderer no less) for the actions of idiots who can't distinguish between fact and fiction (and don't even know how to act sensibly in a crisis).
If they had had made these claims to an authority then I'd agree that they deserve to see the inside of a cell (doubt they'd get more than 2 years for that) but they didn't.

I think that based on their local situation the actions of these men amounted to the same as shouting "Fire!" in a crowded theater so to speak.

joep1984 said,
Freedom of expression? Yeah, pretty sure that doesn't extend to idiots posting fake stories of shootings and kidnappings. Throw 'em in the slammer.

A few months in prison or a lot of community service will do just fine. 30 years in prison is unfathomable!

And they can't even be punished AT ALL if they were only what was already being said. Why not catch the original creator of these tweets.

Anyone else would have done the same thing. If someone tweeted in my city about some unrest, I would surely have retweeted about it!

joep1984 said,
Freedom of expression? Yeah, pretty sure that doesn't extend to idiots posting fake stories of shootings and kidnappings. Throw 'em in the slammer.

So you agree with giving a jail time for some tweets that is 5+ times longer than for an actual killing? So rational!

You'd really like it in Russia. They jail bloggers for writing "corrupt cops must die".

Solid Knight said,
Only in Mexico.

I am pretty sure it would be worse in the US.

Also the situation currently undergoing in Mexico is bad enough to have two morons posting stupid **** like this.

Lucas said,

I am pretty sure it would be worse in the US.

Also the situation currently undergoing in Mexico is bad enough to have two morons posting stupid **** like this.


I doubt a worse punishment would be given in the US.

Lucas said,

Also the situation currently undergoing in Mexico is bad enough to have two morons posting stupid **** like this.

This!!!

Currently I'm living in Monterrey, Mexico and with the current situation the country is living, there should really be no jokes of this kind. They should already know that living IN Mexico.

We've been compared to Colombia in the 90s, with a slight less hectic

Two Mexicans COULD(*) face 30 years in jail for Twitter "terrorism"

(*) but more probability that the case will be dismissed.


Commenting is disabled on this article.