There is currently a great deal of indignation and displeasure with the excess in frivolous expending showed by the Mexican government and their family members such as President Peña Nieto´s wife and daughters´ designers dresses that verged on the thousands of dollars but just when people thought things couldn´t get more offensive, reality out passes fiction. This happens to be the current case of the young and rich Mexican youth.
The students from the Cumbres Institute, A private school for boys run by the Legionaries of Christ, (A very prominent, rich and influential Catholic organization, known for its closeness to powerful and wealthy Mexican families. It was founded by Marcial Maciel, a priest who was revealed to have abused boys, seminarians, maintained relationships with at least two women and fathering many children -two of whom allegedly he abused as well- In 2006, Pope Benedict XVI removed Maciel from active ministry based on the results of an investigation concerning sexual indecorum) Released a generation/graduation video that has caused much controversy for its content. But what is this video about? According to many women the video is sexist, misogynist “it is the exhibition of women as mere objects available to a group of wealthy pubescent”.
Unfortunatelly this video is not only about some young high school students of the Cumbres Institute displaying a sexist behavior or the supreme demonstration of ostentation of wealth and power, whether as a mere aspiration, but let´s get back to the original question, why is this causing so much itching in the Mexican society? Some affirm without hesitation that is the combination of elements in it, and includes more than the exhibition of women as sex objects: is a statement to the rest of the Mexican social classes, -“We are members of the social elite, educated in a school for the wealthy and in the future we will occupy positions of power”.-
On April 3 2015 Canadian magazine “Maclean´s” published an article that gave much to say to Mexican society, called “The Brattiest Pack in Mexico” in which is explained about this type of brats known as “The Mirreyes”. The “mirrey” term comes from “mi rey,” or, “my king,” which is a common, old and affectionate greeting amongst men in the Lebanese community. Now, what is that separates these young, rich spoiled kids from the others? Their opulent and insulting life style…
They wear designer clothes that some could consider flamboyant and extreme, with large logos, the bigger the better, drive European luxury cars such as Maseratis, BMWs and by their tans they show they’ve spent time at the beach or on yachts, the mirrey habitat. They travel frequently to foreign destinations and have an obsessive behavior of documenting and show their lifestyle using the social networks or other society publications with selfies of them, their friends, always with their arm around a good looking girl and a bottle of champagne in the other. These young women are called “Lobukis” a word derived from “Loba”, best translated as a “she wolf” that sniffs the “Mirrey” and seeks access to his appealing “lifestyle”. The “Mirrey” knows this; it is aware of this interest and accepts. Their relationship then becomes more of a contract in which he agrees to give material goods and the female role is relegated to a mere object, access to social support, to procreate and raise children, serve as a mannequin that will carry goods such as clothing, jewelry and handbags that finally confirmed the status of “Mirrey-Lobuki” in society.
In “Maclean´s” article is mentioned the story of Mexican soccer fan Jorge Alberto López Amores who was celebrating on a cruise ship off the coast of Brazil during the 2014 World Cup and after drinking mezcal for days, he told his friends: -“I’m going to make history! I’m going to stop the ship!”- He must certainly do it. He launched himself from the ship’s 15th floor into the Atlantic Ocean to never be seen again.
Jorge Alberto López Amores was the son of the Chiapas state attorney general, and an extreme example of what Mexicans call “mirreyes”, the incautious descendants of an entitled elite and an urban tribe of spoiled brats. Unfortunately, “mirreyes” are making themselves more visible than ever in Mexico. Their noticeable consumption stands out in a country where 92% of its population gets by with salaries from the equivalent of $0 to $1,000 US Dollars a month, in a country where opportunities for social advancement are limited most of the time to connections that quite often carry more coinage than talent in the job market.
The book that explained it all.
“Mexico has its own ‘Generation Me,’ [which] likes Instagram and selfies and seeing each other doing weird things,” says writer and journalist Ricardo Raphael author of the book “Mirreynato, the Other Inequality”.
– “In Mexico”—unlike in other countries—“if you are from the Generation Me… you won’t face the law.”– This book explicitly describes the rise of the “mirreyes”.
The author clearly estates that the “mirrey” generation is more than just an extension of what used to be known as “Mexican juniors” the offspring of elites placed, -thanks to their parents connections- into business and political positions based only on family or friend connections. The author, who has ties to the Mexican elite as the nephew of former president Miguel de la Madrid, recognizes this as a troubling sign of the times: – “Princes of privilege, increasingly enabled by impunity, inequality and corruption. They don’t face the consequences of their exhibitionism”.
Money provides self-satisfaction, but also bestows legal and political protection, according to Ricardo Raphael. As an example, no one with bodyguards or riding in a convoy of bulletproof SUVs is stopped by the police. Money attracts powerful friends who will look the other way in cases of corruption. It also brings important connections for business and politics.
-Where It All Starts-
These types of connections are made since young age in the country’s elite private academies that are no better than public schools regarding education levels as proved in the “ENLACE” tests that stand for “Evaluación Nacional de Logro Académico en Centros Escolares” that can be translated as “The National Assessment of Academic Achievement in Schools” is a test of the national education system which applies to public and private schools in the country. The ENLACE purpose is to generate a single scale of national character, which provides comparable information and knowledge skills that students have. This tests showed that private schools not necessarily performed better than public schools, but in the words of Ricardo Raphael -“parents, are not paying for their children to go to school and get knowledge, but to have friends”- friends who can help them later in life.
In his book, Ricardo Raphael evokes as an anecdote the long line of parents and families forming on the morning of graduation at Colegio Miraflores, where President Peña´s daughter was studying, hoping for a ticket near the first family’s table, which offered the possibility of appearing with them in the society pages.
The “Mirrey” social network
In 2011, José Ceballos started posting photos of “mirreyes” on a website he created with a friend called Mirrreybook— With 3 r’s to emphasize how “mirreyes” roll their r’s (SIC)- The site attracted quite an amount of followers in just a few days. Real “Mirreyes” loved it and started sending photos of themselves in the beach, on their yachts, private planes or exclusive nightclubs. After these phenomena, brands came calling, using the “Mirrreybook” photos to pitch their products to such limited and “exquisite” audience. But then again, why not? A “mirrey” is that person that lives “THE” life, always in a party, in a nightclub, with lots of women, always ordering bottles”
According to Ceballos “mirreyes” have started mimicking the children of narcotics traffickers, competing with them to see who has more. In a country where politicians give no account of their wealth, infiltration of money from shady sources into high society is inevitable and the “old money” doesn’t necessarily embrace the newly affluent people and in most cases they laugh behind their backs, but at the end, their children interact and form friendships, but in words of Guadalupe Loaeza, a columnist and author of several books about the upper crust -“Now all money is welcome, there are no longer any scruples.”-
At the end, one thing is clear; there is currently in Mexico a polarized society that has amassed a large discontent because of the abuse of the privileged few who can shut down a business because of their family’s connections, young people that do not face the consequence of their actions and absent parents who give money instead of education. Mexicans are fed up, since so many of them are trying to juggle through life with the barely minimum to satisfy their needs. Hopefully, at some point this will have to end… If it does.
José E. Urioste Palomeque
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