MEXICO -- The writer behind Mexico's notorious Blog del Narco is a young woman who has written a book based on the blog that chronicles Mexico s bloody drug war.
Journalism died a long time ago here in Mexico, said the blogger, who wants to be known as Lucy, via Skype.
It s not her real name. She also asked that her face not be visualized in this report.
Obviously in Mexico, it s not safe to show my face. It s not safe to use my name, said Lucy.
In Mexico, where journalists are routinely killed and news organizations no longer cover drug violence, many citizens turn to social media and blogs to share information anonymously.
The mysterious blogger has written a book titled Dying for the Truth: Undercover Inside Mexico s Drug War, published by Feral House. It s available in English and Spanish and sold online.
KHOU 11 News has no way to verify she is the blogger and Lucy did not reveal her identity in the Skype interview.
She said she s in her twenties and lives in Northern Mexico. She claimed to be a former journalist. Lucy said she started the blog, which often features gory images and exclusive crime scene video, because authorities denied the violence and Mexican media no longer reported it.
The images and videos are proof. We re not lying. said Lucy.
She said some of those who contributed to the blog have been murdered. Critics said the blog helps cartels spread terror, but Lucy defended the graphic content.
She said the violent images can serve as a warning for young people about the dangers of getting involved with the drug trade.
By seeing those graphic, strong images, they can say, I don t want to end up like that. I don t want my photo to show up on the blog, said Lucy.
Millions read Blog del Narco and follow it on Twitter. Its following has even attracted advertisers, including Chevrolet.
Lucy said she is not rich and started the blog with her own modest savings. She said she has lived frugally and has given up a normal life when she started blogging in 2010.
It s been three years without a birthday cake, she said.
The Blog del Narco s success has spawned copycats, including some that she said were set up by the criminal groups or by the Mexican government to seek information from the public.
She blamed former President Felipe Calderon for the violence created when he declared war on the cartels. She said it was like hitting a beehive with a stick.
The blogger said it s unclear what President Enrique Pena Nieto s strategy is.
Maybe not talking about it is part of his strategy, she said.
The young blogger said the book made her relieve some painful experiences. She has had nightmares because of the video, photos and stories she posts.
Lucy said she ll stop writing the blog when peace returns to Mexico.
I still have hope. I have not lost hope.