Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Did you notice any fishy headlines in Mexican news today?

As is the case every Dec. 28, Mexican newspapers attempted to trick their readers on Thursday by publishing articles containing false information – fake news if you will.

The annual tradition is the way in which some newspapers observe Día de los Inocentes, Mexico’s equivalent of April Fools’ Day.

(Read about the origin of the “Feast of the Holy Innocents” in this 2022 Mexico News Daily article.)

While we’re not publishing our own “fake news story” this Día de los Inocentes (maybe next year!), we have prepared this brief roundup of noticias falsas found in Mexican newspapers.

A magical trip on the Maya Train 

El Universal reported that the Maya Train will start running recorridos nocturnos, or night trips, to allow passengers to see and interact with aluxes, mischievous woodland spirits in Maya folklore.

A dark blurry photo of an animal or human in a tree, next to a photo of a stone carving
The president shared the photo of a supposed alux (left) along with an ancient carving depicting the mythical creature earlier this year. (Andrés Manuel López Obrador/X)

On the trips there will be a “special stop at Chichén Itzá so tourists can interact with an alux in the vicinity of the jungle,” according to a concocted statement attributed to Tourism Minister Miguel Torruco.

“We hope that this Día de los Inocentes joke doesn’t become a [correct] prediction,” the article concluded.

New cat and rat-like animal discovered in Quintana Roo 

La Jornada Maya reported that workers on the Maya Train and Tulum airport projects had brought to light “what the Ministry of National Defense and the National Institute of Anthropology and History were hiding all these months” – the presence of a “never before seen animal” deep in the Maya Jungle.

Could an unknown species be lurking in the jungles of Tulum? (Gob MX)

According to the article, the new species – captured on camera by the workers – “looks like a combination of a cat and a giant rodent” and was observed “tearing to shreds and eating a tepezcuintle,” a large rodent called paca in English.

“The witnesses couldn’t believe what they saw,” reported La Jornada before conceding that “this content doesn’t correspond to reality.”

Mexican-made COVID vaccine finally available 

El Gran Diario de México (The Great Newspaper of Mexico), as El Universal calls itself, wasn’t content with just one fake news story, and in fact published several to mark Día de los Inocentes.

In this article, the newspaper reported that Mexico’s Patria COVID-19 vaccine is now available and that Maya Train, Interoceanic Train and Mexicana airline passengers will be the first to receive it.

Getting a shot and taking a trip on one of the “great transport projects created by and for the people of Mexico” are both ways in which people can demonstrate their patriotism, according to a mock press release from the National Council of Humanities, Science and Technology.

Read a couple of other spoof El Universal articles here and here.

Claudia Sheinbaum to travel on luxurious plane when president

This story didn’t come from a Mexican newspaper, but from the Morena candidate herself.

“Now that I’ve been traveling through the country so much, I’ve thought that it’s important that the next president has a plane of the kind that not even [Barack] Obama had,” Sheinbaum said in a video posted to social media.

¡Ah! Inocentes palomitas se dejaron engañar. We’re going to continue with republican austerity,” she added.

Inocente palomita is the term used for anyone fooled on Día de los Inocentes.

Sheinbaum – whose political mentor, President López Obrador, sold the luxurious presidential plane used by his predecessor – told viewers of her video that they had allowed themselves to be deceived.

Not fake news, but seemingly so 

To mark Día de los Inocentes, the Reforma newspaper highlighted actual stories from 2023 that people could conceivably believe were in fact fake news.

Under the headline “It’s not fake news, it’s reality!,” the newspaper published 13 headlines relating to true stories. Among them were:

Mexico News Daily  

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