(Reuters) - Latin American members of the activist hacker group Anonymous called off a planned November 5 plan to expose people associated with the Zetas, Mexico’s most violent drug cartel, according to the group’s blog.
In a post written in Spanish on the group’s Latin American blog, the members said they had called off the action after the Zetas met a demand to release a kidnapped group member, and that: “We can say that, while bruised, he is alive and well.”
The hacker group said the person was freed with a note warning that if information were released, the cartel would make the kidnapped member’s family suffer, and kill 10 people for each exposed name.
Anonymous members previously threatened by video to release names and addresses of taxi drivers, journalists and police officers who they said acted as “loyal servants” to the cartel to see if that would prompt arrests.
They said they were “fed up” with the cartel’s actions, particularly the alleged kidnapping. For much of the week, people claiming to be Anonymous members have gone back and forth saying the hacker action was canceled or would go ahead.
Anonymous, a loosely knit group that has attacked financial and government websites around the world, had in September claimed responsibility for orchestrating the shutdown of several Mexican government ministries, but did not give a reason for that action.
Barrett Brown, a Texas hacker who posted details about the planned action, said via his Twitter account: “I will be continuing the fight against the cartels.”
Brown said via a post on Pastebin he would avoid revealing names that would trigger the ire of the Zetas but still intended to send information to the German newspaper Der Spiegel for confirmation.
“In the meanwhile, I will be going after other cartels with the assistance of those who have come forward with new information and offers of assistance,” he said.
Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Eric Walsh