Mexico: Mexico City Mayor and His Online Interaction with Citizens

Marcelo Luis Ebrard Casaubon is the mayor of the Federal District (Mexico City), headquarters of the union powers and capital city of the United Mexican States. Ebrard has been in such office since December 5, 2006 and belongs to the Partido de la Revolución Democrática (PRD) (Party of Democratic Revolution). On May 2011, he received the World Mayor Prize 2010 delivered by The City Mayors Foundation.

Some people identify Marcelo Ebrard as a potential presidential candidate for the PRD for the upcoming elections next year in Mexico. Fernando Acosta [es] of Aporrea describes him as follows:

Marcelo Ebrard Casaubon, es también el político de izquierda “sensato” con el cual “se puede negociar fácilmente”, según la señora Elba Esther Gordillo, jefa máxima del Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educación (SNTE). Es también el “nuevo líder” de la izquierda mexicana según la prensa francesa. La oligarquía mexicana y transnacional desean que sea candidato a la presidencia en 2012 para que pierda frente a Enrique Peña Nieto, el priísta que tiene el visto bueno de la CIA, la DEA, el gobierno estadounidense y los promotores de la guerra que supuestamente libran contra el narcotráfico. El jefe de Gobierno del Distrito Federal es también la ficha clave de la oligarquía para que la izquierda llegue dividida al proceso electoral de 2012.

Marcelo Ebrard Casaubon, is also the “reasonable” left wing politician with whom “one can easily negotiate”, according to Mrs. Elba Esther Gordillo, maximum chief of the National Union of Education Workers (SNTE). He is too, the “new leader” of the Mexican leftists according to the French press. The Mexican and transnational oligarchy wish he becomes candidate for the 2012 presidential elections so he can lose to Enrique Peña Nieto, the ‘priista’ (PRI party member) who is in good standing with the CIA, DEA, the American government and the promoters of the war that is supposedly being fought against drug dealers. The chief of the Federal District Government is also the key the oligarchy has to have the left divided during the electoral process of 2012.

Marcelo Ebrard. Image by Flickr user Noticias de tu Ciudad (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Marcelo Ebrard. Image by Flickr user Noticias de tu Ciudad (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Some of his government actions have had the objective of optimizing the population's access to the Internet. Blogger Sopitas [es] for example, agreeably reported Ebrard's intention to grant Internet access to public transportation (subway) users:

Marcelo Ebrard, Jefe de Gobierno de Distrito Federal anunció que en los próximos meses, los usuarios del sistema de transporte colectivo Metro, podrán disfrutar de internet inalámbrico de manera gratuita en las 175 estaciones que conforman este sistema de transporte público.

Según “el carnal” Marcelo, su administración realizó en los últimos meses todas las gestiones necesarias para instalar el sistema de fibra óptica más importante de la ciudad con más de 200 kilómetros de longitud, lo cual permitirá que los usuarios del metro, puedan conectar todo tipo de dispositivos móbiles a la red, ya sean telefonos celulares, tabletas, o computadoras portátiles desde cualquier ruta del metro. (sic)

Marcelo Ebrard, Mayor of the Federal District, announced that within the next months subway users will enjoy free wi-fi inside the 175 stations that make up this public system.

According to “our bro” Marcelo, his administration managed to complete everything needed to install the most important fiber optic system in the city, with more than 200 kilometers in length, all of which will allow subway users to connect to the Internet with all sorts of mobile devices like cellphones, tablets, or personal computers from any subway route. [sic]

Meanwhile, other ‘capitalinos’ (Mexico City inhabitant) used the blogosphere to express their disapproval of some of the constructions Ebrard's local government is working on. Like the blog Crónica de un Ecocidio Llamado Supervía Poniente (Cronicle of an ‘Ecocide’ called East Superhighway) [es] that focuses on protesting against an infrastructure development, with the moto “against Marcelo Ebrard's ecocide (ecological homicide)”.

Gabriela Cuevas [es] (a local political scene player) is also opposed to the site, as she stated on her webpage:

Se le pide al Jefe de Gobierno ordene la suspensión de la Supervía Poniente hasta que la empresa cumpla con las obligaciones impuestas por la normatividad aplicable, sean resarcidos los derechos de los ciudadanos de las delegaciones Magdalena Contreras y Álvaro Obregón, y se lleve a cabo una consulta pública.

We are asking the Mayor to order the suspension of East Superhighway until the company fulfills the imposed obligations given by the applicable regulations, the rights of the citizens in the communities of Magdalena Contreras and Alvaro Obregon are compensated, and a public consultation takes place.

In spite of the previous examples, the communication between the governed and the government seems not to be unilateral. Nowadays, Ebrard's administration promotes an exercise to communicate with citizens in which the Mayor answers questions made by the people through a Gmail account. The project is called “Marcelo te escucha, Ebrard te responde” (Marcelo hears you, Ebrard responds) [es].

Furthermore, Mexico City's Mayor seems to be paying close attention to his Twitter account (@m_ebrard) through which he interacts with netizens to answer their doubts and complaints.

Here's an example of a possible failure of the above mentioned subway system reported to Ebrard by user David Lopez (@Dave_yardo):

@Dave_yardo: @STCMetroDF@m_ebrard que pasa en la linea rosa q nada se mueve! Ya mas de 15 mins y no llega ni se va el metro!!

@Dave_yardo: @STCMetroDF@m_ebrard what's going on with the pink line that nothing seems to move! It's been 15 mins and it [the train] won't arrive or leave!!

@m_ebrard: @Dave_yardo estoy verificando

@m_ebrard: @Dave_yardo I'm checking

A similar exchange took place when Carolina Ayala (@Carol_Ayala_M) reported to the Mayor an alleged omission from the trash pick up service for not taking away some smelly trash:

@Carol_Ayala_M: @m_ebrard Mirador, Delg Coy, Tiene 15 dias y no pueden recoger sto, huele horrible y ade+ es el paso para la esc

@Carol_Ayala_M: @m_ebrard Mirador, Delg Coy, It's been 15 days and they [trash service] do not take this away, smells horrible and it's on my way to school

@m_ebrard: @Carol_Ayala_M ahora pregunto para corregir

@m_ebrard: @Carol_Ayala_M I will ask so they can take care of it

@Carol_Ayala_M: @m_ebrard Mil gRAcias¡¡ (sic)

@Carol_Ayala_M: @m_ebrard Thanks a lot

Furthermore, the ‘capitalino’ politician now and then seems to take advantage of Twitter to respond to some of his opposers. An example was his reply to a user R.A (@djfandango) who gave him a hard time for “looking for the big prize” (caring for his presidential ambitions) instead of taking care of the citizens:

@djfandango: @MarcelaHerreraR@javiermorlett@m_ebrard el carnal marchelo esta buscando la grande no tiene tiempo para atender ciudadanos

@djfandango: @MarcelaHerreraR@javiermorlett@m_ebrard our homeboy marchelo is looking for the big prize and has no time for taking care of the citizens

@m_ebrard: @djfandango te equivocas es lo que hago todo el dia

@m_ebrard: @djfandango you are wrong, that's what I do everyday

The use of technology could be closing the gap between authorities and citizens in Mexico City, favoring not only expression, but contact and interaction to solve problems and all kinds of doubts. If this interaction persists, it could result in interesting results in the future.

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