Not even the holidays can stop Mexican politicians from taking jabs at each other.
In recent days, Mexican politician Gerardo Fernandez Noroña has been continuously slammed on social media for posting several pictures posing with his family in Argentina. The former congressman, who in the past cried poor and accused others of graft and corruption, is now being blasted on social media as a leftist phony for enjoying what seems like an expensive trip in the Argentine Patagonia.
The scandal has triggered an interesting debate on social media about entitlements and political corruption on both sides of the political divide.
The pictures quickly caught the attention of former Mexican President Felipe Calderon, who took to Twitter to criticize Noroña.
“One of the worst hipcoresies is having rhetoric from the left and a wallet from the right,” Calderon tweeted. The former president then helped create the Twitter hashtag #NavidadenPoloSur or #ChristimasInSouthPole to poke fun at Noroña.
"One of the worst hypocrisies: declaring yourself a leftist that supports the poor and traveling like the most rich on the right."
"Hypocrisy: pretending to have qualities and sentiments contrary to what one really has or experiences."
One Twitter user mined Noroña's account to find a year-old tweet where the former congressman was complaining about how poor he was. “No one knows my economic situation,” read Noroña’s tweet, “but I’ll share it: I have 100 pesos ($6) on one card, and 300 pesos ($23) on the other.”
Noroña fired back and posted a flurry of excuses, claiming his brother-in-law had payed for his family's vacation. But the damage was done, as other Twitter users mocked the absurdity of Noroña taking his family to Argentina with only $29 in his pocket.
"Incredible! Fernandez Noroña discovers how to travel to Argentina with only $29."
The Twitter war then got personal, as Noroña started dredging up old stuff, like the incident in 2011 when the then-lawmaker brought a banner to Congress accusing the president of being an alcoholic and comparing drunk driving to drunk governing.
"Proof that Felipe Calderon is in Ushuaia [Argentine town]."
The social media turf war has since evolved into a larger debate between Mexico’s ‘left’ and ‘right’ as people questioned the ideology of luxury traveling — with Calderon even tweeting out where he was vacationing.
"With my wife Margarita Zavala in Barra Vieja [Acapulco], well received by the people and served in 'Beto Godoy' [popular restaurant]. Thank you for your affection."
"Felipe Calderon boasts being from the right and spends like the left."
"Domestic consumption has no ideology."
"What do you mean by 'traveling like the right?' So he who identifies as from the left can't travel? Stupid."
Who would have known that Noroña's trip to Patagonia would turn into such a teachable moment for Mexico, thousands of miles away.