It seems like Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has something else on his mind besides the protests in his country stemming from the electoral law reforms approved by Mexico’s Congress. Did anyone have Obrador tweeting about a mythical woodland elf on their bingo card this past weekend?
“Everything is mystical,” Obrador tweeted on Saturday (February 25) alongside two photos. Obrador said one of the photos was taken at an archaeological site and features a statue of an “aluxe,” which, in Mayan folklore, are small, mischievous creatures found in forests and fields. The other photo is an old, grainy, black-and-white image of what looks like a creature with glowing eyes perched in a tree allegedly taken “three days ago.”
As of Monday morning (February 27), Obrador’s tweet has received 7.9 million views and it’s already been called out as being a fake that has been circulating the internet for years. Some people even wondered if Obrador’s tweet about the sighting of a mythical entity was merely a way for him to try to distract from the news of the protests and his reforms.
According to NPR, the changes to the National Electoral Institute (INE) would cut salaries, funding, and training for local election offices and polling stations. The new laws would also weaken sanctions against candidates who don’t report campaign spending, leading many to believe that their democracy is in danger.
Tens of thousands of people filled Mexico City’s main plaza and the surrounding streets in protest of the proposed reforms, which many are arguing would give unchecked power to the government over elections, including Obrador. Brian A. Nichols, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, tweeted that the move would test “the independence of electoral and judicial institutions,”
Most used Obrador’s tweet to create memes and poke fun at the mythical sighting claims.