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Cartel Enforcer Brought Down By Instagram?


They say snitches get stitches, but who gets stitches when you get busted because your Instagram account led authorities to your location? That is what may have happened to 33 year old Jose Rodrigo Arechiga Gamboa, a selfie-enthusiast and a top enforcer in the Sinaloa drug cartel, who was busted in Amsterdam this past week. While authorities haven’t explicitly said that Instagram led them to locating Gamboa, it doesn’t take a detective to understand how bad blowing up social media can be if you’re trying to stay under the radar. Gamboa – aka “El Chino Antrax” – frequently Instagrammed photos of fast cars, mountains of drugs, and, perhaps the most damning of all, a photo with evil overlord Paris Hilton.

It’s not odd that social media like Instagram has become popular among younger cartel members. Posting photos of criminal activity to the internet is great for flaunting power, intimidating rivals, and showing off your junk. However, with anyone who deals in power and money, the greatest threat has always been the same thing: hubris. The more cartel members act like they are above the law, the more likely they are to act carelessly. One positive here, while posting to Instagram was definitely an ill-advised attempt at publicity and bragging, Gamboa’s Instagram gave people a glimpse into a world normally shrouded in secrecy.

That said, selfies are an art-form that in the wrong hands can lead to seriously bad repercussions, as Gamboa found out last week. So, cartel members, leave the duckface and wang shots to the professionals, like celebrities and politicians.

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