With the highest number of Facebook users in Central America and a Twitter population growing by the thousands every month, social media can be a great place to find out what’s buzzing in Guatemala. Of course, there’s also a whole lot of nonsense posted online too, but at XelaWho we like nonsense so here are some of last month’s social media trends, with the interesting & the informative alongside the vacuous & the ludicrous.
The end of April saw yet another explosive corruption case come to light in Guatemala, implicating disgraced ex-President Otto Perez Molina and ex-Vice President Roxana Baldetti once again. In the #CasoTCQ, the pair is accused by the anti-corruption crusaders, CCIG, of leading a criminal organisation that pocketed over $30 million in bribes in return for awarding a contract to build a port terminal on Guatemala’s Pacific Coast to Grupo TCQ, along with a 25-year concession to operate it worth $255 million. Prosecutors allege that Perez Molina and Baldetti received 60 percent of the bribes. Then to add insult to injury, current president Jimmy Morales, who claimed during his electoral campaign last year that “the greatest guarantee of transparency for my government is my mother, because she didn’t raise thieves”, was accused of holding secret meetings with the Maersk company, the majority stakeholders in the TCQ Group. The Guatemalan Twitterverse responded with the #AEscondidasComoJimmy hashtag, with which users tweeted that they #GoIntoHidingLikeJimmy when they “watch Sex and the City”, “come home drunk and my mother is waiting for my with a frying pan in hand” and when they “listen to musica banda.” @_SuperAlejo summed up the situation, tweeting that Jimmy’s government is “as transparent as the waters of Lake Amatitlan.”
On the plus side, things do seem to be looking up on the corruption front: Prensa Libre reported a whopping 398% increase in official corruption accusations since 2014. Throughout May a National Dialogue on reforming the Guatemalan justice system was also held across the country. You can follow the updates with the #ReformaJusticiaGT hashtag.
On the local front, the #InundacionesXela last month became a nation-wide trend on social media as waves of local residents flocked to Twitter and Facebook to express their anger, desperation and wittiness at the dire situation in many parts of Xela. Many were angry at the new municipal government for not fixing the problem, whilst others laid the blame on local residents for constantly throwing their trash on the streets. @rrodriguer suggested that Xela should take advantage of the floods “to diversify tourism and boost investment in the city by creating a #XelaShore.” We’re not sure how we feel about that one…
The national TV show Combate (essentially Guatemala’s Gladiators) was perhaps the object of greatest ridicule last month after a contestant’s rather basic maths mistake on the show went viral (see right). Tweeters responded with the hashtag #LaSumaDeCombateEsPeor, writing that the sum on Combate is even worse than: “Claro’s mobile signal”, “when your parents find your vibrator” or “when she tells you she only loves you as a friend.” @SergioAlec_ posted a hilarious meme (see right) under the hashtag saying “Juan, that Japanese exam was really difficult but I think I got some questions right”… “It was a maths exam…” @Pabloolival turned the maths error into the perfect Valentine’s Day card message, tweeting: “If 248+208=4416, then you+me is definitely possible.”
Finally, we couldn’t sign off this month’s trendy without mentioning last month’s Mother’s Day, which brought about some great hashtags and memes. Our favourites were from @LSAM21 who, using the #TuMamaMiente (Your Mother Lies to you when…) hashtag posted the meme to the right, reading “look how handsome my son is” and from @a_lejan_dra who posted the all-too-well-known consequences of asking your mother to take a photo of you using the #TipicoDeMadreChapin hashtag. We feel your pain Alejandra!