Mexican comedian Leye Nedvedovich is so angry at her president that she has invented a super hero alter ego through which to channel her rage.
Like many of her compatriots, Ms Nedvedovich reviles Enrique Pena Nieto, the country’s leader whose approval ratings are through the floor following a series of corruption scandals and policy failures.
“I am Super Zape – it means ‘super slap’,” she said from behind the red eye mask of her costume. “The idea is that every time Pena Nieto does something stupid he and his supporters get a big slap.”
Mr Pena Nieto’s decision to invite Donald Trump to Mexico this week brought Super Zape and many other Mexicans out in force.
After a year spent lobbing insults at Mexico and its citizens from podiums on the American campaign trail, Mr Trump is perhaps the most hated man in the country. It is a title he vies for only with Mr Peno Nieto.
Whilst Mr Trump appears to have emerged relatively unscathed from his visit to Mexico, Mr Pena Nieto is now battling a public relations disaster in its wake.
The images of the Mexican leader standing silently beside Mr Trump, whilst the Republican nominee professed the two men “friends” at a joint press conference left the country in a state of outrage.
“The humiliation is now complete,” tweeted Carlos Loret de Mola, a popular Mexican television anchor, fuming that Mr Trump had been allowed to alight in his country, and worse, that Mr Pena Nieto had failed to solicit an apology from the American presidential candidate for his frequently denigrating the country and its citizens.
Ya se puede ir Trump tranquilo. Se consumó la humillación.
Mr Trump has repeatedly referred to Mexican undocumented immigrants as “rapists” and “drug dealers” and has suggested that the country’s government intentionally sends its “worst” people to America.
Whilst Mexican immigrants, including undocumented workers, are responsible for a sizeable percentage of productivity in the American economy, Mr Trump has repeatedly referred to them as a drain on the country’s resources.
Mr Pena Nieto “did not even take a really strong stand and talk to Mr Trump directly to his face and tell him exactly why his stances are not acceptable to Mexicans,” said Tony Payan, director of the Mexico Center at Rice University’s Baker Institute.
“He sounded tepid and too soft. He essentially rolled over and allowed Mr Trump to get away with his own goals without getting anything in return.”
“Super Zape [super slap] to both of them,” said Ms Nedvedovich. She was dressed in a red and gold super hero costume with two red ‘Z’s’ imprinted on her chest, and sported a giant fake white hand (presumably for to smack Mr Pena Nieto and Mr Trump with, should she ever have the opportunity).
Ms Nedvedovich, a Mexico City resident in her early 30s, quipped that after meeting Mr Pena Nieto, Mr Trump would be inspired to make his promised wall between the two countries “even higher.”
She spoke in front of the Angel of Independence statue, were several other residents of Mexico city had gathered to protest Mr Trump’s visit.
Taking place in the middle of the work day, the number of protestors were few. But the popular support for their actions was evident from the stream of cars that sounded their horns in solidarity as they drove past. Almost every driver in the thick traffic on the avenue in this central part of Mexico City seemed to honk their approval, causing a deafening ruckus.
Trump pinata pic.twitter.com/mEONRExrfv
Elsewhere city residents had been planning a protest in which everyone would brought along their own ‘piñata’, a papier-mâché, pottery, or cloth figurine of Mr Trump that they beat with sticks.
Breaking the Trump piñata, a product that is now available in many shops, has become a common pass time in Mexico in recent months.
On Wednesday the organisers of this piñata protest had to cancel the event because, they said, the Trump figurines were already all sold out.
Mr Pena Nieto was elected to power in 2012 as the fresh faced hope for Mexicans battling chronic unemployment and endemic poverty.
In the first few years the debonair new face of the Institutional Revolutionary Party pushed through several ambitious reforms in education, finance, energy and telecommunications that were designed to kick-start economic growth.
But some four years on, the effects of those reforms are yet to be felt. His efforts to open the energy sector coincided with the global oil crash, damning his hopes to draw billions of dollars in investment to the country.
Rather than an agent of change Mr Pena Nieto has become embroiled in a series of corruption scandals and examples of government brutality that have eroded the public’s faith in his leadership.
The national murder rate has surged this year, with experts predicting a return to 2012 levels. And in the face of this Mr Pena Nieto’s government has not been seen to be making particular efforts to curb the gang violence or brutal local police forces that share responsibility for these bloody murder statistics.
And in a separate scandal this month, a local news outlet reported that Mr Pena Nieto heavily plagiarised the thesis of his law degree.
An investigation by Aristegui Notices found that some 29% of the thesis was material lifted from other writers, including, from a book written by Miguel de la Madrid, a former president.
This newspaper asked protesters and other residents of Mexico City whether they would vote for Mr Pena Nieto again. Some responded with a quizzical look, as if the answer was too obvious to give. Others just shook their head. In all cases, the answer was an emphatic ‘no.’
News Source TelegraphNews