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It also highlights the risk that young computer enthusiasts can get pulled into illegal and dangerous acts of protest online.

The original call for action came in a video posting last month.

Using Mexican slang but speaking with a Castilian Spanish accent, the hacker, dressed in the signature Anonymous black suit and tie and a mask, accused the Zetas of kidnapping one of the group’s supporters during a street protest in Veracruz.

If he was not released by Nov. 5 or was harmed, the video threatened to release online lists of “taxi drivers, journalists [and] police officers” who work for the cartel - along with details of “their cars, houses, bars, brothels and everything else in their possession.”