By Carlos Diaz Barriga
The Mexican government on Monday, Oct. 12 uploaded a new video to its official YouTube channel promoting its latest accomplishments. By Tuesday, following public outcry on social media, it had been removed.
The problem? The spot told Mexicans to stop complaining.
The video stars two carpenters working and discussing the reforms that the government has achieved during President Enrique Peña Nieto’s term. One of the carpenters argues that they haven’t made much of a difference, while the other one lists all the benefits they’ve generated and tells him “ya chole con tus quejas” – which roughly translates to “enough with your complaints.”
Soon after it was uploaded, the hashtag #YaCholeConTusQuejas was born on Twitter. As of Thursday, the hashtag (along with its variants #YaChole, #YaCholeConEPN and #YaCholeConPeñaNieto) has already generated more than 37 thousand tweets.
Twitter accounts are using #YaCholeConTusQuejas to air out their grievances with Peña Nieto and his government.
The thousands of tweets the controversy has generated indicate there is plenty to complain about.
One of the most popular grievances is the unresolved case of the missing students from the Ayotzinapa Rural Teacher’s College. Sept. 26 marked the one-year anniversary of the night 43 students disappeared from the city of Iguala, Guerrero, and there’s still uncertainty over what occurred.
In January, the government released its official report on the investigation. Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam declared in a press conference that the 43 students had been murdered and their bodies incinerated by a local criminal group. Murillo also announced that they had arrested one of the leaders of this group.
The parents of the students rejected the government’s conclusions. They said the investigation lacked physical evidence, and that it was rushed. Peña Nieto, for his part, tweeted “it’s painful to accept it. We’ve been through moments of deep sadness. Ayotzinapa hurts us all.” He called for everybody to move on.
However, on Sept. 6 the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights published a 550-page report that contradicted the government’s conclusions.
The report stated that there was no evidence of a fire big enough to burn 43 bodies in the area where the government said it happened. The document also said officials did not do everything possible to locate the students. It warned that there was a lack of investigation into the facts and evidence had been destroyed.
On the one-year anniversary of the tragedy, thousands marched in Mexico City calling for justice. Even though the government would like for the complaints to stop, it seems the citizens still have plenty to say.
Photograph by PetrohsW via Wikimedia Commons