Unknown killers posted two hit lists on Facebook, listing 100 names from the Colombian town of Puerto Asis. Three teenagers on the list have met violent deaths.
Facebook can be used for many things: reconnecting with old friends, organizing parties, selling goods, even radicalizing potential jihadi recruits . But this fiendishly innovative use for the site may be the most shocking. In the southwestern Colombian town of Puerto Asis, unknown killers last week posted a hit list of 69 names with a warning: get out of town within 3 days or die.
On August 15, according to CNN.com, two town teenagers were gunned down while riding a motorcycle . Two days later, the killers posted a hit list on Facebook. Both slain teenagers appeared on the list. Three days later on August 20, another two teenagers were shot. The one who died also appeared on the hit list. Another hit list was then posted with the names of 31 women, bringing a total of 100 people marked for death. Facebook has not responded to press requests for comment.
Some parents with children on the list have panicked, fleeing with them or shipping them out of town, while authorities investigate who posted the hit list and why. Both Los Rastrojos ("The Stumble"), a neo-paramilitary drug organization , and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), a Marxist narco-insurgency, operate in the area, according to AOL News' Carl Frazen.
Volmar Perez Ortiz, Colombia's defendor of the public, described Los Rastrojos as operating an almost shadow government, "executing violent actions, resolving community conflicts, imposing living and conduct norms, intimidating and meting punishment against ... drug sellers and consumers, sex workers, people with criminal and unlawful histories and threatening social leaders, business people, taxi drivers and motorcycle taxi drivers."
Appropriately, some townspeople have taken to Twitter, a social networking site and microblogging service, to air their fear and grievances.
"The situation in Puerto Asis is tenacious, that a social site be used to add fire to the Colombian conflict," tweeted JulianEco.
"What is happening in Puerto Asis, Putumayo, is grave, the same as in Medellin," another tweet from user hugoparragomez said. "Authorities should take control of the situation. Who is investigating?"
Other threats have been left as well, albeit much more low-tech. According to the Telegraph, leaflets have been left on cars in town , stating "“Please, as relatives, ask [the teenagers on the list] to leave town in less than three days, or we’ll see ourselves forced to carry out more acts like that of 15 August."
Federal authorities have been sent from Bogata to investigate, including Internet experts; while authorities have offered $2,750 to anyone with information on the slayings.
♦ Photo by Franco Bouly/Flickr