Mexico's Narco Blogger Flees the Country

By Sarah Beller 05/16/13

"Lucy," one of the remaining voices brave enough to cover the drug war, flees to Spain.

Blog del Narco covered the truth Photo via

The secret author of Blog Del Narco has fled Mexico, she tells The Guardian. Blog Del Narco has continued to cover Mexico's violent drug war even when many other journalists and news sources have been silenced out of fear. Blogging under the pseudonym "Lucy," the young journalist reports that her blog partner called her on May 5 and uttered a single word: "run." "Run was our code work for when something was very wrong," Lucy explains. "We had never used it before." Now, her colleague has disappeared, and Lucy has left Mexico first for the US, then Spain, because it is "further away. It feels safer." Lucy remained anonymous until last month, when she revealed to The Guardian: "I'm in my mid-20s, I live in northern Mexico, I'm a journalist. I'm a woman, I'm single, I have no children. And I love Mexico.” This time, Lucy spoke to the newspaper via Skype, from an undisclosed location in Spain. She said she was alone and frightened, and reportedly cried several times. Her biggest fear, she says, is that she will see her colleague tied up, scared, preparing to be killed, just like in the kinds of video that she frequently would post her blog. Some victims have been tortured and beheaded on camera. "I don't want to think the worst but I can't help it," she says. "I called him back but there was no answer. I emailed him, tried Skype and WhatsApp, but nothing. Nothing."

More than 70,000 people have died in the past six years in Mexico, including dozens of journalists, as drug cartels battle each other and state forces. Blog Del Narco has come under repeated cyber-attack, especially by the government, according to Lucy. In 2011, a young couple who contributed to the blog was abducted, tortured and disemboweled, and a sign next to their bodies said the bloggers were next. A few days later, another contributor was killed, and a keyboard, mouse and sign mentioning the blog were strewn over the corpse. Currently Lucy is in a boarding house and has enough money to last a few months, she says, but has no friends or contacts in Spain. She has no immediate plans to resume blogging.

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Sarah Beller is a writer and the Executive Director at Filter. She has written about drug policy with a focus on harm reduction for Substance.comThe Fix and Salon. She has worked as a social worker with formerly incarcerated people in New York for a number of years. Her writing has also appeared in McSweeney’sThe HairpinThe ToastReductressThe Rumpus and other publications. You can find Sarah on Linkedin and Twitter.