What the Hell Is Going on in Mexico? Let Twitter and Facebook Tell You

Jul 8, 2012
4:22 PM

Yes, some outlets (like The Washington Post) covered yesterday's protests in Mexico, where thousands of people all over the county marched peacefully to speak out against the alleged buying of votes by the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), whose candidate, Enrique Peña Nieto, won the presidential election with just 38.2% of the popular vote while challenger Andrés Manuel López Obrador got 31.6% of the vote. The PRI ruled Mexico from 1929-2000, and had a culture of corruption and repression that still lingers with Mexicans. Also, 62% of the country DIDN'T vote for Peña Nieto, so you would expect that there would be an angry and frustrated electorate.

However, social media is playing a key role in sharing stories almost immediately. Such is the case of one PRI supporter, Juan Pablo Franzonly, who was captured on Facebook pointing a gun at protesters. These were two images that were being circulated:

Within minutes after the balcony shots, an image of his capture was on Twitter:

Franzonly's story was one of many being published the last 24 hours, including aerial images of the protest in Mexico City, where tens of thousands of people converged:

This whole march came from allegations that the PRI had sold votes, and had even given out gift cards to voters in exchange for votes. These cards were valid at the Soriana chains (kind of like a Mexican version of Wal-Mart, Target, etc.). Fearing that the cards would get canceled this week as more and more stories of voter fraud were being shared online, a panic among the card holders ensued. Sorianagate was on, and the news traveled fast through social media.

Of course, Peña Nieto denied fraud as well as Soriana.

This hasn't stopped people from sharing their thoughts on social media. Here is just one screen grab from Soriana's Facebook page, taken today. The posts from others has over 100 by now and counting.

Photos are starting to appear by the hundreds on Facebook as well. In the meantime, we produced a Storify of the latest images being shared on Twitter surrounding the march. We suspect more and more of these images will go viral.