Yo Soy 132

Yo Soy 132
Part of the Mexican general election, 2012, Impact of the Arab Spring

Poster stating #YoSoy132 against EPN: it's not hate nor intolerance against his name, but rather being full of indignation as to what he represents
Date 15 May 2012 (2012-05-15)  2013[1]
Location Mexico
  • National broadcast of second presidential debate
  • Hosting a third debate between three of the four candidates

Yo Soy 132 was a social movement composed for the most part of Mexican university students from private and public universities, residents of Mexico, claiming supporters from about 50 cities around the world.[2] It began as opposition to the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) candidate Enrique Peña Nieto and the Mexican media's allegedly biased coverage of the 2012 general election.[3] The name Yo Soy 132, Spanish for "I Am 132", originated in an expression of solidarity with the original 131 protest's initiators. The phrase drew inspiration from the Occupy movement and the Spanish 15-M movement.[4][5][6] The protest movement was self-proclaimed as the "Mexican spring" (an allusion to the Arab Spring) by its first spokespersons,[7] and called the "Mexican occupy movement" in the international press.[8]


 Mexican President Peña Nieto .
Mexican President, Enrique Peña Nieto.

On May 11, 2012, then Institutional Revolutionary Party Mexican Presidential Candidate Enrique Peña Nieto visited the Ibero-American University to present his political platform to the students as part of the Buen Ciudadano Ibero (good Iberian citizen)[9] forum. At the end of his discussion, he was asked by a group of students a question regarding the 2006 civil unrest in San Salvador Atenco, in which then-governor of the State of Mexico Peña Nieto called in state police to break up a protest by local residents, which led to several protestors being violently beaten, raped, and others killed (including a child).[10] Peña responded that he did what was necessary, that he had no regrets, and that he would do it again if necessary. His response was met with applause by his supporters and slogans against his campaign from students who disliked his statement.[11]

Video of the event was recorded by various students and uploaded onto social media, but major Mexican television channels and national newspapers reported that the protest was not by students of the university.[12] This angered many of the Ibero-American University students, prompting 131 of them to publish a video on YouTube identifying themselves by their University ID card.[13] The video went viral, and protests spread across various campuses. People showed their support of the 131 students' message by stating, mainly on Twitter, that they were the 132nd student—"I am 132"— thus giving birth to the Yo Soy 132 movement.


Yo Soy 132 protest in Mexico City on May 19, 2012
Protest in Monumento a la Patria; Mérida, Yucatán
Yo Soy 132 protest in Mexico City on June 10, 2012

Since the beginning of the movement, protest tactics have included silent marches, concerts, encouraging political participation in elections, and marching without being on the street and disrupting traffic. Rallies and marches have happened in the capital, Mexico City, and also in various states in Mexico such as Campeche, Durango, Aguascalientes, Zacatecas, Yucatán, Guerrero, Jalisco, Nuevo León, Querétaro, Chiapas, Oaxaca, Veracruz, Estado de México, Puebla, Hidalgo, Quintana Roo, Baja California, and Tabasco.[14]

Outside of Mexico, various individuals, mostly Mexican students benefited by government grants for studying abroad, created their own messages of solidarity from the country they were studying.[15]

The success of the movement in unifying thousands of students prompted political analysts to consider whether the movement would cause trouble for the next government in the election results.[16] This was not to be the case, although the fairness of the elections was criticized.[17]


On June 5, 2012, students gathered at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), the country's largest public university, and agreed that the movement should aspire to go beyond the general election and become a national force.[18]

General Principles

On August 10, 2012, YoSoy132 International group published a translation of the General Principles.[19][20][21]

The movement claimed as a success of their demands that the second Mexican presidential debate was broadcast nationwide, however the broadcast was done by Televisa and TV Azteca, both companies previously labeled by the movement as unreliable and intrustable sources of information. It also proposed a third debate organized by members of the Yo Soy 132 movement that was held without the presence of Enrique Peña Nieto, who rejected the invitation and said it lacked conditions of impartiality.[8][9] This third debate was accessible only to the privileged society with access to broadband internet, something that wasn't common in 2012 in Mexico, which led to ciriticism.

Public Opinion


Yo Soy 132 was compared by their first spoke-persons to the Arab Spring movement that occurred in the Arab world, as well as the Occupy movement.[22]

This is because all three movements rely on grassroots support and have used Social media as a way to communicate and organize, as well as using civil resistance.

The Occupy Wall Street movement acknowledged these similarities by writing a post on their website expressing their solidarity with Yo Soy 132.[23]

The movement also promotes a leaderless structure, in which no one person is the leader, as well as having multiple demands[24]

Members of the Spanish Indignados 15-M Movement expressed their support for the Mexican Yo Soy 132 causes.

The Internet hacktivist group Anonymous has a Mexican branch supporting the Yo Soy 132 Movement.

Also, several personalities including Julian Assange founder of Wikileaks and René Pérez Joglar (aka Residente), lead singer of the hip-hop band Calle 13, have expressed their support.


On June 11, 2012, 4 persons who named themselves generación mx, through a YouTube video claimed they were allegedly part of Yo Soy 132 and announced their supposed departure, claiming that they perceived that the movement favored the leftist candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador.[25] They claimed to have the same goals as the Yo Soy 132 movement of democratization of the media, political reform, environmental protection, and calling politicians' attention to the agenda of Mexican youth.[25]

Apart from their single YouTube video ranting against the Yo Soy 132 movement, this alleged group never performed any kind of real political activism.

It was later uncovered by social network activists that the generacion mx members were directly linked to Peña Nietos' political party, the PRI, the one Yo Soy 132 was campaigning against.[26][27]

A spokesperson of GenerationMX, denied ties with the PRI party and his current employer COPARMEX.[28]

The movement has also been opposed on social media by so-called Peñabots - automated accounts used for propaganda purposes.[29][30]


  1. http://www.vanguardia.com.mx/queocurrioconlosintegrantesdelmovimientoyosoy132-2069584.html
  2. "#YoSoy132 presume contar con 52 asambleas internacionales". 1 August 2012.
  3. "Youth protest former Mexican ruling party's rise". Buenos Aires Herald. Editorial Amfin S.A. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
  4. Quesada, Juan Diego (May 27, 2012). "Que nadie cierre las libretas: Del 15-M a Yo Soy 132 solo hay nueve mil kilómetros". Animal Político. Retrieved June 13, 2012.
  5. Sotillos, Alberto (June 13, 2012). "#YoSoy132: el 15M llega a México" (in Spanish). Diario Progresista. Retrieved June 13, 2012.
  6. "#YoSoy132: Mexican Elections, Media, and Immigration". The Huffington Post. AOL. June 7, 2012. Retrieved June 13, 2012.
  7. "Social media fuel Mexican youth protests - CNN". CNN. Turner Broadcasting System. May 24, 2012. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
  8. Hernandez, Rigoberto (June 7, 2012). ""Mexican Spring" Comes to San Francisco". San Francisco Chronicle. Hearst Corporation. Retrieved June 13, 2012.
  9. "¿Y qué dijo Peña Nieto en la Ibero?". CNN Expansión. May 11, 2012. Retrieved 2012. Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  10. Zapata, Belén (4 June 2012). "Atenco, el tema que 'encendió' a la Ibero y originó #YoSoy132". CNNMéxico (in Spanish). Retrieved 29 June 2012.
  11. Zapata, Belén. "La visita de Peña Nieto, motivo de abucheos de estudiantes en la Ibero" (in Spanish). CNN México. Retrieved June 2, 2012. Al término de su discurso, los estudiantes permanecieron aglomerados a las afueras del auditorio en espera de la salida del abanderado del PRI y a gritarle "¡Fuera! ¡Fuera!" y "¡Asesino!"
  12. Organización Editorial Mexicana (May 11, 2012). "Intentan boicotear en la Ibero a Peña Nieto" (in Spanish). El Sol de México. Retrieved June 2, 2012.
  13. "131 Alumnos de la Ibero responden". YouTube. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
  14. "Videos de Solidaridad Nacional". Retrieved November 9, 2013.
  15. "Videos de solidaridad Internacional". Retrieved November 9, 2013.
  16. Graham, Dave (June 19, 2012). "Mexican students won't protest if frontrunner wins vote fairly". Reuters. Retrieved 20 June 2012.
  17. "Irregularities reveal Mexico's election far from fair". The Guardian. July 9, 2012. Retrieved November 20, 2013.
  18. ""Yo soy 132": Declaratoria y pliego petitorio" (in Spanish). Animal Político. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
  19. "Conferencia de Prensa de la Asamblea General 18 de junio de 2012". Retrieved 2012. Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  20. "Conferencia de prensa de la asamblea general". Retrieved 2012. Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  21. "Principios Generales del Movimiento". Retrieved 2012. Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  22. Kilkenny, Allison (May 29, 2012). "Student Movement Dubbed the 'Mexican Spring'". The Nation.
  23. "#TodosSomos132:Solidarity with the Mexican Spring". May 25, 2013. Retrieved November 9, 2013.
  24. Look, Carolyn (December 26, 2012). "YoSoy132 and Contemporary Uprisings:What are Social Movements doing wrong". Retrieved November 9, 2013.
  25. 1 2 Ascensión, Arturo (June 11, 2012). "Jóvenes rompen con #YoSoy132 y forman el grupo GeneraciónMX". CNNMéxico. Turner Broadcasting System. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
  26. Lucas, Nicolás (June 12, 2012). "Denuncian que #GeneracionMx es cercano al PRI y Coparmex". El Financiero (in Spanish). El Financiero Comercial S.A. de C.V. Retrieved June 13, 2012.
  27. Milenio TV. Grupo Multimedios (June 12, 2012). "Integrante de #GeneraciónMX también aparece en video de apoyo a EPN" (in Spanish). YouTube. Retrieved June 13, 2012.
  28. Rea, Daniela (12 June 2012). "E-mail Presentan en solitario a #GeneraciónMX" (in Spanish). Terra News. Retrieved 2012-06-22.
  29. http://www.bbc.com/mundo/noticias/2015/03/150317_mexico_internet_poder_penabot_an
  30. http://www.wired.com/2015/08/pro-government-twitter-bots-try-hush-mexican-activists/
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