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Where is Ruy Salgado, El5anto?

16 September 2012

“El5antuario” …on podcast, youtube, ustream and facebook… as well as via a “traditional” blog site … has been, by far, the best source of information on both the “yo soy #132” movement, and on dissenting movements in the Republic.  By no means a “pirate” operation, El5antuario has been taking advantage of the new communications technology… which has somewhat limited its ability to distribute its message, and — of course — it can’t begin to compete with the big names, Televisa, Azteca, Radio W, El Universal, etc. Even so, El5antuario has already been having an outsize influence on the on-going political/social debate and often as not the mainstream journalists are not so much being scooped by El5antuario as following their lead when writing about protests and the student-led movement.

“The most trusted name in alternative news” is — or was —  Ruy Salgado, who as the masked “El5anto”, was live-streaming news and commentary as always a week ago Saturday (8 September), when an hour before he was scheduled to leave the air (er… cyberspace)… his transmission suddenly ended.  This was not unusual, given the sometimes flaky state of Mexican cyber-connections, and the still imperfect state of ustream broadcasting.  Salgado was sent a message by Skype, which he received, but did not respond to.

In his Thursday and Friday cyber-casts, Salgado had spoken of meeting with other cyber-cast dissidents on Sunday (9 September) at the Palacio de Bellas Artes before heading to the Zocalo for the speech by Andres Manuel Lopez Obradór.  He never showed up, nor has he been heard of since he abruptly ended his cybercast on Saturday.

El5anturario is not a media “company” but more a collective of independent and voluntary citizen-journalists.  While it is possible that “something came up” (he has had to leave in the middle of cybercasts before), he has on previous occasions kept in contact with his fellow “5antuarioistas”.

When I first ran across El5antuario and El5anto, I thought the luche libre mask was a clever devise… a gimmick…. meant to emphasize the “struggle” (luche).  However, given Salgado’s disappearance  — which, if mentioned at all in the “mainstream media” calls him simply a “blogger” — and the seeming indifference of the organizations that are supposed to protect journalists, perhaps the low-tech masking of a high-tech social dissident was a necessity.  And that alone should have those that call themselves “real” journalists not waiting for official answers but going out and asking uncomfortable questions.

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