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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.

Last month on the 22nd of September, Guatemala’s federal cabinet announced that they were suspending the right to protest due to heavy rains. Yep, that’s right, freedom of expression in Guatemala is now conditional on the weather. The state of emergency declaration suspended Sections 5 and 26 of the constitution provoking Guatemaltecos across the country to take to social media to vent their outrage with the hashtag #LaMordazaDeJimmyMe (Jimmy’s gall makes me…). @Juancarloslobo6 tweeted “Jimmy [Morales] suspending civil rights won’t stop peaceful protests!” @Ladoc02 said “This is a return to the era of oppression of the 80s, the Old Politics. Liars!” Tuiteros (Twitter users) have even revived the #RenunciaYa (resign now!) hashtag that was instrumental in ousting former president Otto Perez Molina. Good work Jimmy. Nicely done…

Every Guatemalteco with a iPhone 7 and/or fijolito with a foil antenna attached was live tweeting their ridiculous shenanigans for #IndependenciaGT (Guatemlan Independence Day). From patriotic foods (see meme on the page opposite) to patriotic hangovers, even the most Guatemalan of things, potholes, got even more Guatemalan (see page opposite). Amongst the social media e-party @adrian_jam soberly tweeter that “I fear that the people who celebrate the @IndependenciaGT the most, have the least independence.”

Elsewhere in the Twitterverse, the Observatory Against Street Harassment recently launched a new social media campaign called Campaña Contra El Acoso Cajellero (Campaign Against Street Harassment) with the hashtag #AcosoEsViolencia (harassment is violence). The aim is to raise awareness about street harassment against women and educate people about its negative effects. The initiative started in Chile but now has a local Guatemalan branch which is mapping street harassment in Guatemala to identify problem areas. As @ocacgt puts it: “Street harassment is one of the most normalised expressions of the patriarchal system.” Check ’em out at ocacgt.org

And proving that 140 characters is just way too long for our attention spans these days, Guatemaltecos took to Twitter with their best #HistoriasTristesEn4Palabras (sad stories in four words). Some of our favourites here at XelaWho HQ were: “Mañana vuelvo a clases (tomorrow I go back to class)”, “se terminaron mis megas (I ran out of data)”, and “se acabo el verano (summer is over).” There’s one more in a pic on the page opposite (top left).

Send us your best 4 word stories to XelaWho@gmail.com or post them on our Facebook page and we’ll publish them next month.

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