Mexican cartel activity has become increasingly violent, causing civilians to question the government’s ability to defend against this social and political threat. Within this context, the current study utilizes an exploratory framework to evaluate cartel portrayal on Twitter. We conducted a thematic analysis of data collected via the NVivo NCapture tool yielding 2,652 tweets spanning multiple countries, seeking to understand the key discourse associated with social perception of cartel activity, as well as the status and operations of Mexico’s cartels. Results revealed several areas of focus and varying sentiments based on population demographics, such as location, and type of content.

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