YouTube hijacked by drug gangs

Hundreds of thousands view cartel murders

A bloody war between two Mexican drug cartels has spilled over onto online video site YouTube . Drug rivals have been filming themselves torturing and murdering members of rival gangs and then posting clips up on the web.

Reuters reported that thousands of people died in Mexico in 2006 after vicious battles between different drug smuggling factions. In some areas in the north of Mexico the peace is regularly disturbed by fighting; the bodies of many policemen and soldiers sent in to control the worst areas have been also murdered and mutilated by cartels.

Apparently one video shows vengeful policeman beating up a gang member who is seen begging for his life. Presumably the events were filmed by rival cartel members.

Reuters mentions in its report that one YouTube video, which shows a man being shot in the head by rival henchmen, has been viewed over 280,000 times.

Most of the offending videos are eventually removed by YouTube officials when the clips are flagged as inappropriate by viewers, but the clips are soon re-uploaded or replaced by new chilling murder videos.

So it seems that dealing with copyright issues is not the only concern that YouTube has right now. And whilst the acts of violence depicted in these videos are detestable, they are also worryingly popular with viewers.