Trendy – April
We read Guatemalan Twitter so you don’t have to
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.
March was a big month in the Guate social media-verse. From women across the country hitting the streets, the national government continuing its implosion and the usual smattering of borrachera-related nonsense, it was a busy month for anyone who hadn’t already blown their monthly Q10 datos allotment on browsing Cristiano Ronaldo’s latest hairstyles for their trip to the peluqueria.
Twitter blew up this month with International Women’s Day on March 8 and tons of action in the streets of Guate. Women in the capital and across Maya-land were out in force to commemorate the anniversary of the deaths of 52 teenage girls in a fire held under lock and key in a state-run shelter. The massive march on #DiaInternacionaldeLaMujer highlighted the abysmal conditions in state-run shelters, particularly for women and girls.
Also on #DiaInternacionaldeLaMujer, thousands of women held the 2nd Annual “Procession of the Powerful Vulva” to call attention to the violence and deaths of Guatemalan women, the lack of media coverage of violence against women, and the religious repression of women’s rights. Unsurprisingly, this set fire to Guate Twitter with commentators like @Tisha_3572 lashing out “what stupid women! This is shameful and half-baked. They don’t represent me!” While many threw their support behind the march, it appears Guate’s social media-ites are still a little squeamish for a group of women marching in the streets demanding their rights and recognition with pictures of female genitalia.
The race to elect a new head of the Public Ministry (which runs civil law enforcement and is basically the bureaucratic version of Judge Dred in Guate) kicked off in March and there are around 8 serious horses still in the run. The #EleccionMP race quickly descended into the usual political jockeying with every party and power-base giving the nod to whoever they reckon will reciprocate the back scratch with the most enthusiasm. Representatives of 12 universities across the country will narrow the field to 6 thoroughbred corruptos ahead of the election next month. Civil engagement groups across the country are furiously working to get people up to speed before they head to the polls but as Thelma Esperanza, the rep from San Carlos University, put it on #MPguatemala, “I worry that this will just end in the usual political mess rather than picking the best candidate available.” Yep, Thelma, I’d say that’s about right but hey, fingers crossed, anything’s possible, right?
So be careful out there on the interwebs, Xela! You never know what loco just bought a rip-off smartphone and isn’t afraid to use it!