A former candidate for president has been heavily criticized for a post on social media in which he charged that three southern states were a burden on the rest of Mexico.
“If Mexico didn’t have to carry Guerrero, Oaxaca and Chiapas, it would be a medium-development country and an emerging power,” Gabriel Quadri, candidate for the New Alliance Party in the 2012 presidential election, wrote on Twitter Friday night.
The claim triggered a hostile reaction from members of the general public, government officials, journalists, social leaders and politicians including the governors of the three states at which Quadri took aim.
“Your comment is unacceptable and offensive for Oaxaca. I demand a public apology to all residents of Oaxaca,” the Governor Alejandro Murat wrote in a Twitter post directed at the former presidential hopeful.
His counterpart in Chiapas also took umbrage at Quadri’s remarks.
“Gabriel Quadri is wrong, he must apologize, Chiapas has great wealth, especially cultural [wealth],” Rutilio Escandón Cadenas wrote on Twitter.
“In addition to being triggers of the republic’s economic development, in Chiapas, Oaxaca and Guerrero the citizens are committed to and proud of our country,” the Chiapas governor said in another post.
Guerrero Governor Héctor Astudillo also took to Twitter to respond to Quadri, pointing out that the state has played an important role in Mexico’s history.
“I have instructed to send to you, Gabriel Quadri, facsimiles of [independence document] Feelings of the Nation, the Declaration of Independence and the Abolition of Slavery in Mexico, signed in Chilpancingo, documents that show Guerrero’s great contribution to our country,” he wrote.
“We’re also attaching photographs of our tourist destinations packed with visitors and the monumental flagpole of Iguala, the municipality where this patriotic symbol [the Mexican flag] was born,” Astudillo said in another Tweet.
Much stronger language came from the head of the ruling Morena party.
President Yeidckol Polevnsky took aim at Quadri’s intelligence at a press conference Saturday, asserting that Mexico would be better off without him.
“This country would be a lot richer without brainless people like him,” she said, claiming that he is also “ambitious, vulgar, corrupt and a fraud.”
Polevnsky, a federal senator between 2006 and 2012, added that “a person of such low ilk, who says [such] stupid things . . . doesn’t deserve my attention.”
Several state and federal lawmakers also hit out at the ex-presidential candidate, who is also a civil engineer, economist and environmentalist.
“With all respect, your comment is stupid!” wrote Othón Cuevas Córdova, a Morena party lawmaker in Oaxaca, in a Twitter post.
“. . . His irresponsible comment only reflects an immense ignorance of the greatness of our country,” federal Senator Raúl Bolaños Cacho Cué said.
Writer and activist Tryno Maldonaldo responded to Quadri’s remarks with a witty rearrangement of the ex-candidate’s controversial post.
“If Gabriel didn’t have to carry Quadri, he would be an intellect in medium-development,” the former wrote.
In response to the calls for him to make a public apology, Quadri dug in further, writing on Twitter:
“Sorry, but it’s the bad governments and those in charge of the useless institutions that have made Guerrero, Oaxaca and Chiapas the poorest and most backward states of Mexico that should offer an apology.”
In another post yesterday he wrote: “It’s curious that almost nobody wants to identify causes of and responsibility for the poverty and backwardness of Guerrero, Oaxaca and Chiapas, and that they only launch a lynching campaign against the messenger. Symptomatic and ominous; it only augurs the perpetuation of the problem.”
The three states are generally considered Mexico’s poorest.