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.
All is not well with Jorge Carlos Garcia Paiz. The former diputado candidate for the VIVA party got himself into hot water this month when he lost his cool and punched out a barber. A security camera in the barbershop captured Paiz losing his temper with the man cutting his son’s hair. He walks over to the barber, exchanged words with him, before effectively chasing him to the front of the barbershop. The man cowers behind the cash register; Paiz grabs the man, shakes him, and smacks him upside the head several times. Then his wife comes over and whacks the barber with her purse. All this makes the “vision with values” slogan of VIVA more clear: the vision is of fashionable haircuts, and the values allow for defense of those haircuts with violence if necessary.
Paiz has been rightfully castigated on social media. #TodoPorEseCorteMuco started as a platform to mock Paiz. Muco can mean unfashionable, but here it?s not far from basic, as in basic bitch. Think of a dude who might harass you for a quetzal on a bus in Guatemala City: carefully gelled hair, sneakers with neon laces, listening to Daddy Yankee on his phone without headphones. He’s probably named Kevin or Brayan, and in memes he and his muco haircut —or is it your muco haircut? —are responsible for the small victories and defeats of living in Guatemala: getting assaulted, not getting assaulted, waiting in traffic, getting stopped and searched by the police for no reason
This all went on for about a week and a half before Paiz grabbed the spotlight back to himself. He posted a long and discursive apology video on Facebook, apologizing to God, the barber he punched, his family, all of Guatemala, and his neighbors. Paiz explained that everyone makes mistakes; that it was a standard shouting match with the man cutting your son’s hair that got tragically out of hand; and asked his viewers to put themselves in his shoes, as a father, and ask themselves whether they too would not have punched the barber. Wouldn’t you?
Twitter took to this gleefully. Paiz had, in the style of a well-known American politician who gets altogether too much press already, set out to apologize and instead pooped out a perfect accusatory non-apology. The barbershop in question rejected Paiz’s non-apology out of hand, and #NoTeCreoCerote trended on Twitter, with Paiz getting lambasted by all those hypocrites who pretend never to have assaulted someone in a barbershop. Let those who without sin crack the first joke, right? Glass houses, guys. Remember all the hair salon brawls you’ve started before judging someone else.
Also trending this month : #SFMasProtestas. CODECA, one of the largest campesino organizations in Guatemala, organized a series of marches and roadblocks to protest privatization, corruption, and human rights violations. Those stuck in traffic took to Twitter to exchange words with CODECA?s supporters. Rumors, misinformation, and raw anger swirled. Jimmy Morales remained president despite the Twitterstorm, and CODECA has announced more marches and roadblocks in the days and weeks to come.