What is to Come of the #YoSoy132 Movement?

July 6, 2012

The #YoSoy132 movement (coined by sensationalist pundits as “the Mexican Spring”) was a crucial news story in the month of June. With Mexico’s presidential election drawing near, the movement’s criticism of Enrique Peña Nieto and unjust media coverage garnered much attention over the past month, attracting comparisons to both the Arab Spring and the Occupy Wall Street movement. Of course, these are hyperbolic comparisons, but the use of social media (most notably, Twitter) in the #YoSoy132 movement follows the trend of young people using the internet as a means for organizing rallies and protests against government hypocrisy and media censorship.

The #YoSoy132 movement began on May 11th in response to Enrique Peña Nieto’s speaking at the Ibero-American University in Santa Fe, Mexico City. Many students from the university protested Peña Nieto’s defending his actions regarding the 2006 Atenco incident, in which the then-governor of the State of Mexico ordered state police to break up a local protest. Two protestors were killed by the police, who violated numerous human rights and were later challenged in court. Peña Nieto’s attitude during his latest speech ignited a large anti-PRI sentiment, and students heckled him to the point where he had to leave the premises. Later, Peña Nieto claimed that the protestors at the Ibero-American University were not actually students, but rather “intolerant, inconsiderate ‘stooges’ paid to protest against Peña Nieto by the leftist PRD party,” reports thenation.com. In response to this, 131 students posted videos on youtube showing their student IDs and speaking out against both Peña Nieto and the way politics are portrayed in the mass media. As thenation.com points out, “In particular, students have expressed frustration with the ‘monopolization’ of Mexican politics and media. The example New America Media provides is a company named Televisa, which along with TV Azteca, controls 95 percent of Mexico’s TV market.” Thus, the #YoSoy132 movement was born, as people took to Twitter and Facebook to show their solidarity as the “132nd student.”

Though the movement gained massive coverage in June, its direction remains to be seen now that Peña Nieto has won Mexico’s presidency. It is important to note that the movement, like Occupy Wall Street, is grassroots and does not affiliate itself with any party. Perhaps this will provide it with some longevity.

Click here for the whole story from thenation.com


One Response to “ What is to Come of the #YoSoy132 Movement? ”

  1. Arlene Love on July 8, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    It is interesting that of today, July 8, there seems to be no further news about Calderon’s contesting Nieto’s win.