Trendy – December

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.

:: Trendy :::
Guatemala’s national police force, the PNC, take a lot of stock in appearances — they spend an inordinate amount of time shining their boots, practicing their scowls in the mirror, and standing around with their hands on the butts of their pistols (or the stocks of their oversized assault rifles) while scowling in their shiny boots. #Operacionrelampago, or “Operation lightning,” was in keeping with that focus on appearances — a cascade of photos and tweets meant to cast a light (get it?) on their efforts to fight crime. Unfortunately, it’s hard to hold a gun and frown in an intimidating way while tweeting, so people got a bit sassier than usual. One tweet asking for citizen help and announcing when and where they were patrolling brought a mess of responses. “Don’t publish this!” one tweeter advised. “Publish after you’re done. By publishing this you’re sending all the thieves into hiding.” Another used stronger language to express the same idea: “By publishing this you’re not gonna get a single son of a whore thief, don’t be dumbasses, be sneaky or surprise them … haven’t you seen a single cop show on TV before? When you’re ready to not be so stupid I’ll help you out.” Clearly, Twitter’s new 280 character limit wasn’t wasted on that guy.

It wasn’t all dunking on cops on Twitter this month, of course. Atmosphera Radio’s Los Tres Ratones — a sort of annoying, sound-effect heavy “comedy” show in the vein of grating Guatemalan classics like Moralejas – asked people what they’re hoping to never do without with #ATMQuenuncamefalte. Many of the responses were sappy lovey-dovey nonsense in the worst kind of romantic way – “Your kisses and text messages,” read one. “Your voice,” read another. Several said, “your love.” Spare us — it’s not even Valentines day yet. Others were a bit cheekier – “beer,” “weed,” etc. Some were pandering — “Los Tres Ratones,” “Headphones to listen to Los Tres Ratones.” Twitter really is a vast wasteland; we’re guessing there was some kind of giveaway associated with this trending hashtag. Nothing like the way that brands dominate the #conversation in this lovely country.

Speaking of branded promotions — it wouldn’t be Christmas without a heavy corporate presence, right? Pollo Campero, not to be outdone by Gallo’s massive Christmas tree, hosted a fireworks show right here in X e l a — the #Lucesdecampero. Most of the tweets, unfortunately, were an unironic celebration of the inaguration of Christmas by Guatemala’s leading brands. Others were wishes — one Jimmy Morales parody account wrote “I hear the wish of all the people in Xela is that I step down.” Speaking of – what’s going on with #pactodecorruptos? A massive Santa pinata protest outside of Congress, denunciations of Guatemala City Mayor and cast-off skin of a lizard person Alvaro Arzu’s son (creatively named Alvaro Arzu Jr.) ascending to the head of said Congress, and widespread denunciations of the new Junta Directiva in that selfsame Congress – what one Twitter user called an “impunity dreamteam.” Shit’s still bad. We’ll keep you updated. Until then … Orale Xela

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