(USA Today) In a one-minute TikTok video last fall, drug traffickers on a rigid inflatable boat yelled to the pilot to speed up as a Customs Surveillance Service vessel of Spain took chase. The viral video, which got more than 1 million views, looked like a scene from the Netflix “Narcos” series. But it was a real, high-speed chase in the cartel drug wars.
Cartels have long used social media to shock and intimidate their enemies, said Howard Campbell, anthropologist and drug expert at the University of Texas at El Paso.
“It has proven to be an effective strategy,” he said. “The use of TikTok is just the latest phase of this phenomenon.”