from memes to politics

Viral quinceañera family gets recruited by Mexican politicians and campaign strategists

AP

The Ibarra García family, known throughout Mexico for their daughter’s viral quinceañera party, appears to be leveraging its accidental internet fame into a new career in politics.

A video surfaced on Mexican social media last week showing the Ibarra García family asking voters in Saltillo, Coahuila to support independent mayoral candidate Fausto Destenave Kuri.

“Saltillo, take care of Fausto Destenave Kuri. Vote for him please,” Rubí’s mother tells the camera.

A man off-camera then asks Rubí for her opinion. The teen laughs nervously, blushes and adds, “Take care of the future mayor.”

The father of the social-media famous quinceañera is also being tapped to launch his own political career. Although Rubí‘s dad has no political experience, his sudden rise to internet fame has given him name recognition in a municipality, state and country that’s increasingly fed up with establishment politicians.

A marketing expert recently approached him and his brother offering to help them get elected as mayors of the municipalities of Charcas and Villa Guadalupe in their home state of San Luis Potosí.

The quinceañera party itself became a political event as local lawmakers showed up to shake hands with their constituents and get photo-ops with Rubí.

Rubí’s apparent recruitment is part of a larger shift that’s happening in Mexico, where political parties and candidates are increasingly trying to use social media to reach millennials, which will make up a big chunk of the electorate during the country’s 2018 presidential race.

And Rubí, a social media joke that became reality, seems to be the internet star of the moment—one the local politicians want to cozy up to for an endorsement or a shot at viral publicity.

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