The Mexico city of Juarez is on lockdown after an email warning of an impending "bloodbath" was widely forwarded. The subject line? The email promised "the bloodiest and most violent weekend in the history of Juarez."
The anonymous email has shut down shops, bars, and restaurants. Soldiers are now patrolling the streets, which have been evacuated. Whether or not the email is to blame, the message seems to be self-fulfilling. At least 20 people were killed this past weekend, including two policemen.
The level of fear in this city that is infamous for its drug-related crime and currently experiencing a surge in murders must be so high that an email can result in army patrols and all out lockdown. The surge in murders has claimed around 400 lives so far this year, several of them police officers and members of rival narcotics gangs. Should an anonymous email be taken so seriously that the result is a form of terrorism? Even the mayor has said, "we don't have any information to suspect that the emails are real." Where is the line between real threat and spam?