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.
Some of us are always looking for those cheap flights. Most will have an alert set up for Skyscanner, hoping to make sure you get that cheapest flight possible. Many of us flying to Europe will know just how expensive these tickets can be, but not according to our trusted vice President Roxanna Baldetti. She claimed that in fact it is cheaper to fly to Europe than it is to Petén, because the airlines “give promotions”. Her promotion was that great that she also managed to bring her son Luis Pedro along for the ride. I really need to get a link of her for this website! While in Holland, Baldetti took part in the Liberal International Congress, where she discussed economic issues with the group, with she said would be useful for her country. Fantastic! But the road trip didn’t stop there as the vice president and her son made it all the way to Italy for an audience with the Pope. They both even managed to take a selfie with him, before jetting home. The selfie managed to make onto social media, before prompting #MuladasQueSóloBaldettiDiria to start circulating online.
But that was just at the beginning for what has proven to be a difficult month for the vice President, (though let’s be honest at this rate if she can make a week without controversy then she is doing well). On Friday 17th April, 21 people were arrested for involvement in a tax fraud scheme from the governments taxation system SAT. These arrests included the former, and current heads of SAT. The group was accused of channelling around $2.5 million quetzals a week from the treasury. I mean we all think paying our taxes is just giving money to a bunch of robbing Bastards, but this really is a whole new level of Bastardness (hope this has not been trademarked yet!). As you can imagine, social media was awash with news of this scandal, and you can follow more of this story with #ContrabandoSAT.
This was a scandal that simply was not going to go away and soon many people started to see #RenunciaYa pop up on feeds across the country. Can you blame people for not wanting to put up with this shit for much longer? On Saturday the 25th April thousands took to the streets of Guatemala to take part in peaceful demonstrations calling for the resignation of President Otto Pérez Molina and, of course, Roxana Baldetti (though they of course deny involvement in the SAT scandal). The protest was originally called for by 9 people on Facebook under the hashtag. It was reported that 10,000 people turned out, though the Facebook page boasted around 40,000 in attendance. Some have claimed in the aftermath that phone signals were blocked to prevent them from broadcasting and uploading content to social media. Claro claimed that there was no problems at all with their service, while Tigo claimed the volume of people using social medial caused the antennas to collapse. I call Bullshit! Aside from the problems of the networks the protest were peaceful. Now we will wait and see what the coming days brings.