Mexico's Twitter "terrorists"

Mexican authorities on the case.
Mario Vazquez

In the midst of so much bloodshed and intimidation in Mexico, the public normally cheers when police seize some of the supposed culprits behind it all.

But the arrest of two alleged terrorists in Veracruz state has caused more dismay, puzzlement and anger than rejoicing.

The two suspects –math teacher Gilberto Martinez and radio host Maria de Jesus Bravo – are not accused of firing guns, chopping off heads or lobbing grenades.

They just tweeted about it.

And this, according to Veracruz state prosecutors, makes them guilty of terrorist charges that could land them up to 30 years behind bars.

Their supposedly criminal tweets were posted on Aug. 25, a bloody day in Mexico as criminals burned down a casino in Monterrey killing 52 people.

Martinez and Bravo posted messages wrongly saying gunmen were also attacking schools in Veracruz.

The electronic warnings triggered frantic parents rushing to cause grid lock and accidents.

With drug gangs attacking all kinds of businesses in Mexico, including schools, there is certainly a social psychosis in parts of the country.

But you can’t blame all this panic on tweeters.

In any case, it seems unlikely this twitter terrorist case will go the distance.

Mexican and international media have highlighted the absurdity of the charges and the suspects’ defense lawyer has called on federal authorities to intervene.

It seems likely that the administration of Felipe Calderon will indeed step in.

Calderon is already facing the pressures of 40,000 drug war homicides – and probably doesn’t want the pressure of some highly controversial prisoners to add to his woes.