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As "Operation Safe Roads" looms, Anonymous makes demands in a new video

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A video purportedly from the hacker and activist group Anonymous lays out five demands that Mexican bus companies and government officials must comply with “immediately” to avoid cyber attacks beginning on Dec. 10.

“The government and bus companies have decided to pursue a strategy of silence and order to avoid financial losses and a tarnished image in other countries,” the group stated in a copy of the video provided to the Daily Dot and other media outlets ahead of its public release on Sunday. “But this must end.”

People claiming to be members of the group launched #Opcarreterasseguras (Operation Safe Roads in English) earlier this week to call attention to what they say are thousands of cases of kidnapping and rape occurring on buses in Mexico. The group said that just five percent of Mexicans can afford air travel, meaning most are reliant on buses for long-distance travel in the country.

Here are a few of the demands laid out in the video, which will be released publicly at 6 p.m. on Sunday:

  • All buses should travel on toll roads, making them less likely to be attacked by kidnappers.
  • All buses should have GPS systems installed so they can be quickly located when a kidnapping is reported.
  • All buses should be outfitted with real-time cameras and silent alarm systems so authorities can be alerted and begin monitoring incidents as soon as they begin.
  • Armed Marshals—either members of the military or specially trained security guards—should be placed on each bus.
  • Bus passengers should be held under the articles of the Geneva Convention and be held as noncombatants.

The demands are “not negotiable” and must be met by the Dec. 10 deadline, the group said in the video.

Last month, Anonymous made headlines when it said it would go after the notoriously violent drug cartels that have been waging a decade-long war in Mexico. Anonymous eventually called off that attack, making a widely disputed claim that the Los Zetas drug cartel had released a kidnapped Anonymous member. The group then launched #OpCorrupcion, targeting the Mexican government for corruption that has allowed the drug gangs to flourish.

Earlier this week, a spokesman for Anonymous told the Daily Dot that it had backed off the operation directly targeting the cartels because the group feared it would put the lives of innocent Mexicans at risk.