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Citizen Voices and Screaming Bullets in Mexico

Citizen journalism through social media platforms helps deliver truth into mainstream reporting and ensure community safety in places with oppressive regimes. But what happens when, as in Mexico today, truth in reporting is stifled not by a nefarious despot, but rather by an intricate web of drug lords wielding machine guns and Molotov cocktails? Caught in between often-complicit authorities and violent drug cartels, Mexican citizen reporters’ most pressing struggle is that of survival.

After the murders of four citizen reporters in September 2011, the need for a secure and trustworthy platform for social media reporting of Mexico’s drug war became paramount. Enclave, an open-source platform, was designed to address this evolving need with sophisticated security measures, veracity rating tools, and nationwide connections. Enclave promises to be an invaluable tool for disseminating information and best practices in the fight against Mexican drug cartels.

Additional Supporting Materials


  1. Is citizen reporting a new phenomenon in Mexico? How have Mexicans adopted its use? How do drug cartels use citizen reports on social media?
  2. What other citizen reporting channels exist in Mexico? How are they connected to this platform?
  3. What are the unique challenges in making social media reporting safe in Mexico versus in places with repressive regimes, like Egypt or China?
  4. Given that security is a life or death issue for Mexican citizen journalists, how carefully constructed are the security and vetting processes that protect these contributors? What issues have come up in the process, be it of journalists trusting platform staff or with technical vulnerabilities?
  5. What is the end product of the streams of social media being published on the platform?



Shauna Dillavou, Analyst/Trainer, Plessas Experts Network

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