Peru: “Talk to My Back, Mr. President”

On October 1 and 2, 2012, Lima hosted the III Summit of South American-Arab Countries (ASPA) and the meeting of the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs. In order to highlight the event, the Government declared those two days as holidays for the Lima Metropolitan Area and the Constitutional Province of El Callao [es].

During the Summit, president Ollanta Humala and his wife, First Lady Ms. Nadine Heredia [es], were seen welcoming the guests, presiding activities, giving speeches and posing for pictures. But on the second day of the Summit, cameras captured what seems to be a harsh exchange of words between the couple.

YouTube user cajamarcaglobal uploaded the video, where we can see the presidential couple talking and then Ms. Heredia turning her back to her husband:

In Peru, Ms. Heredia is perceived as a strong-willed woman, and this episode didn't go unnoticed by Peruvian media and netizens. Twitter users created the hashtag #HablaConMiEspalda (Talk to my back) [es] and immediately started commenting and making fun of the whole situation.

User Giovanni Arce (@GiovanniArce) [es] uses Summit-related words:

@GiovanniArce: O: Pero Nadine tienes que preparar arroz árabe para el almuerzo del ASPA N: #hablaconmiespalda.

@GiovanniArce: O [Ollanta]: But, Nadine, you have to cook some Arab rice for lunch at ASPA N [Nadine]: #hablaconmiespalda (Talk to my back).

César Peirano (@cesarpeirano) [es] mentions the government's agenda:

@cesarpeirano: La Agenda del Gobierno esta escrita en la espalda de Nadine. #hablaconmiespalda

@cesarpeirano: The Government's Agenda is written on Nadine's back. #hablaconmiespalda

Meanwhile, Mariela (@vesdamariela) [es] mentions another kind of language:

@vesdamariela: Ya salieron los especialistas a ver cuadro x cuadro el video presidencial y leer el lenguaje corporal de Nadine? #HablaconmiEspalda

@vesdamariela: Have specialists watched the presidential video frame by frame to read Nadine's body language? #HablaconmiEspalda

User Zarella Sierra (@ZarellaSierra) [es] shares some advice:

@ZarellaSierra: Moraleja: Si llevas tu pareja a tu trabajo, no te asombres cuando ventile los trapos sucios ante ese público. #HablaconmiEspalda

@ZarellaSierra: Moral of the story: If you take your partner to work, don't be surprised when they ventilate your dirty linen in front of that audience. #HablaconmiEspalda

And later adds [es]:

@ZarellaSierra: La escenita le dio resultado: @NadineHeredia tendrá su cumbre en 2013 #HablaconmiEspalda

@ZarellaSierra: The little scene worked for her: @NadineHeredia will have her own Summit in 2013 #HablaconmiEspalda

This user is referring to the First Meeting of Women who have renowned posts in governments and parliaments in South American and Arab Countries (ASPA).

On the other hand, Equipo Rojo Combate (@RojoCombateSI) [es] takes this to the gender war arena:

@RojoCombateSI: #HablaconmiEspalda bien….. ajjaja los hombres merecen desprecio y mas desprecio por ser MACHISTAS AJAJJAJjajaja daleee LA espaldaaaa!!!

@RojoCombateSI: #HablaconmiEspalda Great… LOL, men deserve disdain and more disdain for being SEXIST LOL LOL lol show him your back!!!

User Bruno Culotti (@CulsJoy) [es] was adamant:

@CulsJoy: #HablaconmiEspalda el mejor hashtag peruano del año

@CulsJoy: #HablaconmiEspalda the best Peruvian hashtag of the whole year.

While Pedro Siura (@pedrosiura) [es] apparently refers to the pardon requested for former President Alberto Fujimori, and sympathizes with President Humala:

@pedrosiura: Viendo la “escenita” de Nadine, conlcuyo que quien merece un trato humanitario es Ollanta Humala #HablaconmiEspalda

@pedrosiura: Watching Nadine's “little scene”, I come to the conclusion that the one deserving humanitarian treatment is Ollanta Humala #HablaconmiEspalda

Ms. Heredia is a very active Twitter user [es], but so far, she has remained silent.

Photo of President Humala and First Lady Nadine Heredia during the III Summit of South American-Arab Countries (ASPA), October 2, 2012, by Presidencia Perú on Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

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