"In the lead up to the July 2012 national elections, the new and vocal protest movement #YoSoy132 burst onto the scene. The movement was initially made up of students and university professors who boldly declared their intentions in an online manifesto: “We do not want the one-eyed world that the media constructs everyday to distract us… We are the Mexico that woke up… We long for the revolution of our parents. We long for a future that could be.”
At the core of it, the #YoSoy132 movement has called for greater transparency and inclusion around political processes and for the democratization of the media. Groups affiliated with the movement have popped up in many different parts of Mexico in a short space of time, thanks to the use of new and interesting forms of organisation. As the name suggests, the #YoSoy132 movement has been very closely tied to social media and both communication and organisation have been facilitated through accounts on Facebook and Twitter.
Affirming the importance of their digital connections, in their initial manifesto the #YoSoy132 movement also stated that “we come from the networks, from a world of zeros and ones, from a world that they don’t know and will never be able to manipulate”. The movement has linked in with other like-minded causes overseas, such as the Occupy movement in the US and UK, the massive student protests in Chile and the austerity protests in Greece and Europe more widely.
Some have dismissed the movement for being too bourgeois and for not representing the poor of Mexico. Others have criticized them for trying to work within the confines of a corrupt system, rather than pushing for radical change. These may be valid points, but the mobilization of the middle classes is an important indication that discontent with the status quo is growing rapidly in Mexico." (http://www.zcommunications.org/in-the-new-mexican-revolution-resistance-is-fertile-by-jen-wilton)
Key Essay To Read
- Paper: Cyberactivism through Social Media: Twitter, YouTube, and the Mexican Political Movement “I’m Number 132”. By Sandoval-Almazan & Gil-Garcia (2012).
Social media is increasingly important for political and social activism in Mexico. In particular, Twitter has played a significant role in influencing government decision making and shaping the relationships between governments, citizens, politicians, and other stakeholders. Within the last few months, some commentators even argue that Mexican politics has a new influential actor: “I’m Number 132” (a studentbased social movement using Twitter and YouTube). After the Arab Spring and the uprisings that have led to significant political changes in Egypt, Tunisia, and Iran, the Mexican case could provide new insights to understand these social movements. Understanding the students’ political mobilization “I’m Number 132” in the context of the 2012 presidential election in Mexico, and how they have been using social media tools to communicate their concerns and organize protests across the country, could help us to explain why and how these social meda-enabled political movements emerge and evolve.