Anonymous takes on the Mexican drug cartels

Anonymous has previously been responsible for attacks against numerous corporations and individuals across the world. Now, the collective group of 'hacktivists' have announced that they will be turning their sights upon a Mexican drug cartel, reports CNET.

In perhaps the most bizarre threat made by Anonymous for some time, the group has threatened vengeance upon a Mexican cartel for the alleged kidnapping of one of their activists. They have demanded the release of the activist, stating that the cartel will "remember this upcoming November 5th" if their demands are not met. Whether Anonymous can really make an impact against a morally corrupt criminal fraternity is questionable at best, but it will be interesting to see the depth of their attacks nonetheless.

The cartel that has been targeted by Anonymous is identified by the U.S. Justice Department as the Zetas Cartel, who they have reported to be among the most technologically advanced and violent criminal organizations within Mexico. The choice of date is undoubtedly deliberate, fitting with the Guy Fawkes masks that have grown to become a symbol of the Anonymous movement, after their usage in the film V for Vendetta. Anonymous uploaded a Spanish YouTube video earlier this month, which has been transcribed and translated:

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.

"We demand his release. We want the Army and the Navy to know that we are fed up with the criminal group Zetas, who have concentrated on kidnapping, stealing and blackmailing in different ways."

The speaker in the video appears wearing a suit and Guy Fawkes mask. The group then threatens to expose those who are allied with the Zetas; a list containing journalists, taxi drivers, and police members. The video claims that the member Anonymous are striking out in support of was captured during "Paperstorm", which was an 'operation' spearheaded by Anonymous. The concept is that leaflets and other paper-based media are left in public spaces in the hope people will see them.

To highlight the threat posted by the cartel it is important to understand what they have been responsible for. The Zetas (also known as the Los Zetas Cartel and simply as the Z's), have been responsible for assassinations, drug trafficking, extortion, and even terrorist attacks. Having been founded by ex-members of the Mexican Army's special forces in 1999, the fact the cartel has existed for so long is testament to its abilities as a threat. For reference, the group has been marked as responsible for at least three attacks during 2011. More can be read about each attack from the below Wikipedia links:

It is a highly dangerous move for Anonymous to threaten an organization responsible for so much bloodshed in their own nation. It can be presumed that there are members of Anonymous within Mexico, so it would be extremely dangerous for these members to partake in the revenge actions, if the Justice Department is correct in its analysis of the Z's. At the same time it would be highly interesting if it was discovered that Anonymous were able to best a criminal organization, as remote as the possibility may be.

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