Blog and Ideas
July 29, 2013
By Jorge Chávez

Google vs Mexico’s Cartels

Google’s ideas include creating a network so citizens can safely report cartel activity without fear of retribution.

Google vs Mexico’s Cartels

Google’s ideas include creating a network so citizens can safely report cartel activity without fear of retribution. Now it wants to target international crime, including Mexico's powerful drug cartels.

Eric Schmidt, Google Inc.'s Executive Chairman, has taken a keen interest in Mexico, where thousands of people have been killed in drug-related violence since President Felipe Calderon launched an offensive against the cartels. Schmidt recently visited most of Mexico's most violent cities, Ciudad Juarez, where civic leaders asked if he could help.

Experts told that Mexico's cartels often use more sophisticated technology than law enforcement. Cartel assets include mapping software that tracks the location of police from high-tech control rooms; remote control submarines; and military grade rocket launchers.

Google's ideas include creating a network so citizens can safely report cartel activity without fear of retribution.

It wants to make sharing real-time intelligence easier among police in different regions. It can identify how individuals are connected to each other, to bank accounts and even to corrupt government officials.

It can create community Web platforms for citizens to share information and name and shame criminals, human and arms trafficking, exploitation of child soldiers, and airport and seaport security.

But we live in Mexico and know how tricky it is to underestimate the criminals. It's a chain: When our security has semi-automatic weapons, they use automatic… So they probably are already aware of what Google plans to make and are even planning how to use it to their advantage.

So you think that this platform is a tool that really helps in the fight against drug trafficking or think that all efforts will be used against citizens?

Anyway, it's a gamble that Google is willing to take and, as a Mexicans, we don’t know if we should be proud that Google had set its eyes on our country or we worry even more insecurity we live today. Time will tell the way to take the initiative.

Jorge Chávez is Senior Editor at Mijo! Brands in Mexico.

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