The anonymous author behind the acclaimed Blog Del Narco, which focuses on Mexico's war with the powerful drug cartels, spoke with the U.K.'s The Guardian and the Texas Observer about the reporting and photography emphasizing the war's violence that has made the site as disturbing as it is popular.
People have long speculated about the identity of the blog's creator and why a person would risk retaliation from both drug gangs and corrupt members of the government. The Guardian reports that the blog's creator is a woman who asked to use the pseudonym "Lucy."
"I don't think people ever imagined it was a woman doing this," Lucy said. "Who am I? 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."
The Guardian spoke with Lucy by phone after verifying that she was in fact the writer of Blog Del Narco. "I'm in love with my culture, with my country, despite all that's going on," she said. "Because we're not all bad. We're not all narcos. We're not all corrupt. We're not all murderers. We are well educated, even if many (foreign) people think otherwise."
[Related: Drug war death tolls a guess without bodies]
The danger that Lucy and her reportedly male collaborator face is very real. During the interview with the Guardian, Lucy said that a man and woman who were tortured and hung from a bridge in 2011 used to send photographs to Blog Del Narco. Their death "was very hard," she said. "Very painful."
According to the Guardian, the blog gets 3 million hits per month. It includes gruesome pictures and videos of murders and can be gut-wrenching to look at. "One video showed cartel members interrogating a captured rival and then decapitating him," the Guardian writes. Blog Del Narco gets the footage and news from multiple sources, including from members of the drug cartels.
Lucy and her fellow reporters have put together a book, "Dying for the Truth: Undercover Inside the Mexican Drug War." The book, just published and available in English and Spanish, covers a full year in the savage Mexican drug wars.
"I did the book to show what was happening," Lucy said. "When I finished, I was able to breathe, because I had worried about being killed before finishing. But the book is there. It's there on paper, a testament to what we have suffered in Mexico in these years of war."