U.S. Politician Goes Viral for Celebrating Mexican Heritage with Stolen Photos — Here’s What Happened

Lead Photo: Credit: Glasshouse Images/Getty Images
Credit: Glasshouse Images/Getty Images
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It’s usually no surprise when you find out a politician has lied, but social media users recently questioned why former U.S. Representative Mayra Flores (R-TX) would make up stories about a topic as trivial as food.

Flores is accused of stealing photos of campfire cooking celebrating her Mexican heritage, posting them on social media, and suggesting that the meals in the pictures were something she prepared herself.

Now, critics of Flores, who is currently running against U.S. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez for the House seat she held in 2022, have dubbed the food scandal “GrubGate.” Earlier this week, Flores posted a photo on social media with the caption “gorditas de masa” adding that “the Ranch life with family is the best.”

The problem is that the food pictures Flores posted were taken from a social media account called “Visit Guyana,” a country in South America. The account originally posted the photos in March 2022. When someone online pointed out that the photos did not depict gorditas de masa, internet sleuths started digging deeper into Flores’ campfire meal photos and found out that it wasn’t an isolated incident.

In another post, Flores wrote, “As a proud Latina who knows how to cook, homemade Mexican food tastes better from a gas stove,” alongside a photo of eggs and tortillas cooking. The photo was originally posted by a Spanish-language magazine in 2021.

There are other instances of Flores lying, including a photo she posted featuring meat and tortillas with the caption, “Joe Biden is not invited to the carne asada.” Apparently, neither was Flores since she allegedly stole the photo from a social media account about tourism in Tamaulipas, Mexico.

On Wednesday (January 3), Flores told the Texas Tribune that it wasn’t her “intention to mislead” and that “the photo simply reminded me of my upbringing in Mexico and childhood.”

The internet was quick to call out Flores and called her the “George Santos of food photo plagiarism.”

Others were poking fun at her and suggesting she might try to pass even Taco Bell as her food.

And some like Santiago Mayer from Voters of Tomorrow called this the “epitome of Republicanism.”