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Minutes after this journalist was murdered, the people who killed her sent this message.

“Felina” was a citizen journalist dedicated to speaking out about violent crime in her hometown.

According to The Daily Beast, Felina hailed from Reynosa, Mexico – where drug cartels have considerable influence over the mainstream media, where corruption is rife and where kidnapping and arson are common.

Felina was one of many reporters dedicated to truth-telling about the danger in the area. But her hunger for truth-telling made her a target. And tragically last week, the same criminals she previously exposed reportedly took her life.

Felina was an administrator for social media news hub Valor por Tamaulipas (meaning “Courage for Tamaulipas”) which has more than half a million followers on Facebook.

While Felina used a fake name and wore a “catsuit” disguise to hide her true identity, Valor por Tamaulipas received a tweet on 8 October that read: “We’re coming very close to many of you watch out felina.”

A cartel had previously distributed leaflets throughout the area offering a reward of the equivalent of about $48,000 for anyone who would divulge the names of the Valor por Tamaulipas’s administrators.

Then last Thursday, Felina’s Twitter account posted a chilling message. It read:

“# reynosafollow FRIENDS AND FAMILY, MY REAL NAME IS MARÍA DEL ROSARIO FUENTES RUBIO. I AM A PHYSICIAN. TODAY MY LIFE HAS COME TO AN END.”

A series of messages followed, including one saying:

“I can only tell you to not make the same mistake I did, it doesn’t benefit you, quite the opposite as I realize today.”

Another warned her followers that the cartels “are closer to us than you think.”

Sickeningly, the last message sent from Felina’s account contained a front-on picture of a living, middle-aged woman – later confirmed to be Felina – then another image of the same woman lying on the floor, beaten and with a bloodied gunshot to her head.

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A tweet accompanying the images read: “close your accounts, don’t risk your families the way I did”.

The local state prosecutor’s office has confirmed that a Dr María del Rosario Fuentes Rubio was reported kidnapped the day before the photos were posted to Felina’s Twitter account, while staff at a local clinic witnessed armed men kidnapping Del Rosario as she finished work, according to The Daily Beast.

A number of deaths linked to drug cartels have been reported in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas in recent years, which has been a battleground for a brutal conflict between the Zetas and their rivals the Gulf cartel, CNN reports.

In 2011, 193 people were kidnapped and killed, reportedly by drug cartel the Zetas, in San Fernando, Tamaulipas. Their bodies were found in mass graves on a ranch.

In 2012, 49 decapitated and dismembered bodies were found on a road near Reynosa, and CNN reported that message written on a wall nearby appeared to refer to the Zetas.

In 2010, the Mexican military found a mass grave with the bodies of 72 undocumented immigrants in a ranch in Tamaulipas. ABC News in the US reports a Zetas member told investigators the migrants were killed because the gang feared they would be recruited by their rivals, the Gulf Cartel.

Valor por Tamaulipas’ founder posted a statement expressing grief at the loss of “an angel who gave everything, her life, her future, her safety and peace,”.

“She gave it all for the good people of our state,” the post read.

Police are reportedly investigating Felina’s case.

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