Media is constantly spreading news about wars and strikes caused by political disagreements around the world, could you imagine how many of these have been evoked or feed through social media and internet itself? During my bachelor’s studies, I personally lived a student movement expanded and developed thanks to these resources.
It was a normal day at the uni back on may 2012 the highlight of it was crucial though: the presidential candidate for the most important Mexican party (PRI) was making a visit to the institution to give a speech about his proposals and projects for young people across the country (+18 years old).
It is important to mention the uni where all took place is private and also one the most highly ranked in the country, therefore no one ever imagined something like this could happen. Earlier that day, the presidential candidate walked inside the campus with the hope to encourage and persuade young Mexican students to vote for a party that had been ruling the country for over 70 years.
I perfectly remember the time when I saw this bunch of people crossing the campus towards one of the principle building and hearing at the same time people screaming all over the place. By the time I got closer, I won’t forget the image of the presidential candidate standing outside a toilet entrance defended by his guards where they surrounded by a mass of angry warm-blooded students.
You could see hundreds of students wearing masks of a controversial ex president of PRI, with red painted body parts in memory of the deaths in the war between the Mexican force and unarmed students taken place in the state where the presidential candidate was governor 6 years before.
By the next day the news were already spread national and worldwide, and people who had already chose to support the movement, helped it by spreading their messages even more. They posted countless videos, messages and photos through YouTube, Twitter and Facebook expressing their emotions and encouraging people to follow their beliefs and ideology against the government, and specially its new candidate.
The movement went viral and it became a world trending topic with the hashtag: “#YoSoy132” (“#IAm132”), making a reference to the people supporting the 131 students that uploaded a personal video declaring they took part of the event at the university days before and defending that they were actual and formal students and not paid rebels like some newspapers were declaring through their articles.
Mexico has never seen this kind of event in its entire history, supported by social media and important influencers across the country and worldwide, “YoSoy132” will eternally be reminded as an authentic born student movement that not only confronted the government directly, but also helped students and citizens from all social classes across the country to unite for the same objectives: to express their political beliefs and disagreements, to fight for more local media tolerance and defend their human rights.