Drug wars in 140 characters or less
When you get right down to it, maybe the son of a top official in a Mexico drug cartel could find better ways of spending his time than by tweeting pictures of:
1. gold- and silver-plated firearms;
2. huge stacks of Mexican 500-peso banknotes – each bill worth about $40 Cdn. – all waiting to be weighed (easier, apparently, than counting);
3. a pet lion;
4. a pet cheetah;
5. other ostentatious stuff.
But try telling that to Serafin Zambada Ortíz, the 23-year-old son of Ismael Zambada, a top official in the Sinaloa drug cartel. The younger man tweets as @zambadaserafin which, you will note, is his real name – or pretty close.
Actually, Serafin isn’t tweeting at all anymore. He was picked up by U.S. law-enforcement officials the other day after crossing from Mexico into Nogales, Arizona, where there was a warrant outstanding for his arrest on charges of trafficking in methamphetamines and cocaine.
According to an excellent report by Tim Johnson, McClatchy Newspapers’ Mexico City correspondent, Zambada is not the only offspring of a drug lord to proclaim his status to the twitterverse.
Even more daring is one Alfredo Guzmán, a son of Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán who heads the Sinaloa cartel.
His recent tweets have included a photo of a dead man, someone who dirtied his copy book with the cartel and did not survive.
Ain’t social media fun?
Oakland Ross is a foreign affairs reporter for the Toronto Star.