The mayor of the northern Mexican city of Chihuahua is taking heat for urging a crowd of women to watch soap operas instead of the news during a speech delivered Sunday.
During an event to mark the Day of the Domestic Worker, Javier Garfio Pacheco of the governing Institutional Revolutionary Party led a raffle for a plasma-screen television and went on to praise them, saying they're the best units for watching soap operas -- or “telenovelas” -- during breaks from work.
“No news -- because the news isn’t so good,” Garfio Pacheco said in the speech, while shaking his finger at a crowd of female domestic workers. “Watch soap operas instead and above all good soap operas."
Though Garfio Pacheco later said he spoke in jest, the comments immediately sparked reactions on social media, along with a recrimination from the opposition National Autonomous Party, known by its Spanish initials as the PAN.
“On top of insulting the intelligence of our citizens, this attitude reinforces the national policies established by President Enrique Peña Nieto, by implying that government officials are more interested in offering entertainment than the education that the Mexican people have a right to,” said the PAN’s General Secretary Adriana Díaz Negrete, according to Peruvian daily El Comercio.