Tweets of false shootouts cause panic in Mexico

center_img Sponsored Stories Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Last year, two people in the Gulf Coast city of Veracruz were detained and accused of terrorism and sabotage after re-tweeting rumors about gunmen attacking schools and kidnapping children. The rumors helped set off chaos, and numerous traffic accidents occurred as panicked parents rushed to get their children. The two were later released after pressure from freedom of expression groups led prosecutors to withdraw criminal charges.In 2010, a wave of messages about threatened violence shut down schools, bars and restaurants in the central city of Cuernavaca. Months earlier, rumors about gunfights in the border cities of Nuevo Laredo and Reynosa caused widespread fear and the suspension of classes.Alejandro Hope, a security analyst, wrote that rumors spread because they are credible in areas like Nezahualcoyotl, which has seen shooting attacks on bars and the dumping of bodies with signs of torture on the streets.“People are afraid because there is violence,” Hope wrote in a column posted Friday in Animal Politico, a blog about politics and security. “If we want to reduce the fear, then we must lower the levels of violence.”(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Comments   Share   Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to helplast_img read more

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