Twitter, Facebook Are New Power Monitors in Mexico
Carola Sole - Agence France-Presse
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April 12, 2015
Ex-director of Mexico's National Water Commission David Korenfeld (Reuters)
A Facebook post changed David Korenfeld’s luck. The picture of this young official, close to Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, boarding an official helicopter to travel with his family set social media networks on fire. And the virtual outcry for his resignation came true.
Would Korenfeld have remained as head of the National Water Committee had that post not seen the light? It’s a question many Mexicans are asking themselves today, and it shows the increasing power social networks have in the country.
“We’re not used to power being held accountable, and social networks are becoming monitors for power,” María Elena Meneses, a researcher and digital culture expert with the Universidad Tecnológica de Monterrey, told AFP.
Overwhelmed by the effect Korenfeld’s picture had, the information technologist Ignacio Vizcaíno says he “simply” did “the right thing.” But on Twitter he is already seen as a “a hero” and “#UnMexicanoPatriota” (#AMexicanPatriot).
Family of David Korenfeld boarding the government helicopter. (Facebook/Ignacio Vizcaíno Tapia)
This is not the first time scandal linked to a Mexican politician has caused strong reaction on social networks and made that politician fall.
In April of last year, Twitter boiled with uproar when the daughter of the head consumer protection prosecutor sent inspectors from her dad’s office — Profeco, by its Spanish acronym — to close down a fashionable restaurant after she was not immediately given a table.
The young lady was dubbed #LadyProfeco, and her father was dismissed by Peña Nieto.
The president himself is currently under close surveillance for possible conflicts of interest regarding the purchase of luxury houses, by his wife and the Finance Minister, from a government contractor.
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