Citizen Voices & 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.
Shauna Dillavou is an open source analyst of global security issues, focusing on the intersections of social media with politics and transnational crime in Mexico and Latin America. To that end, she heads up CommunityRED, a nonprofit delivering secure technology solutions to citizen reporters in the drug war. She also trains US law enforcement in social media exploitation for Plessas Experts Network. Shauna delivered a presentation on Mexican drug cartels’ use of social media for the 2012 SXSW Interactive conference and the 2012 Gatlinburg Law Enforcement Conference. Shauna’s work in security began with a National Security Education Program Boren Fellowship to research political tolerance in Beijing, China. She received a master’s degree from the University of Southern California’s Sol Price School of Public Policy, and a bachelor’s degree from Marquette University. She is fluent in Spanish with a working knowledge of Mandarin, Portuguese, French and Hebrew.