On Lords and Ladies: Public Shaming Mexican Style

Chances are when you hear Mexican folk talking about lords and ladies, it’s quite possible they are not referring to actual nobility. In Mexico, the titles are frequently used to refer to those individuals who, for better or worse, were caught on camera saying or doing something that flaunts their sense of entitlement. Each of these offenders earns a title and their shaming videos take a life of their own on Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and so forth until the names become trending hashtags. And the beauty of the titles is that they are not four letter words (i.e. you won’t run into a Lord Pendejo, for example). Instead, the titles are common words!

Of course, Lords and Ladies come from all walks of life, from top-ranking government officials and business owners to popular artists to commonplace folk like you and me. 

For example, consider Roberto Velasco Álvarez, also known as Lord Cacahuates (Lord Peanuts), an employee of Mexico’s Foreign Affairs Secretariat, who found himself at an important meeting in Washington DC, chaired by Nancy Pelosi, and thought it to be completely appropriate to eat peanuts during the meeting while everybody seemed to be paying attention:

Needless to say, the photo made headlines and somebody decided to doctor the popular image with a beer bottle and some salsa to go along with his peanuts!

Or take Lady Zote, who recently received an emergency despensa, which literally means “pantry,” but is the name used in Mexico to refer to a package with basic food items put together to help those in need. In her case, the despensa included a bar of common Zote brand soap. In a video, she ungratefully complains about the soap, saying it’s only “good for washing dogs,” and goes on to complain that the food received is not enough to eat for 15 days.

The video went viral to the point that somebody took her words and threw them into a music groove!

What do you get when Miriam Zelaya Gómez, a refugee from Honduras, was crossing Mexico on her way to the US and at some point in her travels, she was caught on video complaining about having to eat beans, one of our staple foods (food for pigs, she said)? Meet Lady Frijoles! She was subsequently shamed online to the point that she had to apologize in a separate video.

Miriam eventually made it to the US where she got in trouble with the law in Texas. She was fined with $1,000 USD, deported and sent back to Honduras. Intrigued? Just hop into YouTube and search for “lady frijoles.”

The latest Lady to make noise online is Lady Casas (Lady Homes), who was apparently heading from Guadalajara to Lake Chapala in her car earlier this week. When authorities stopped her and asked her to turn around and stay home (the region apparently closed off due to the COVID-19 pandemic), she gracefully earned her title the moment she said something along the lines of “you think we are all alike, but you don’t have two homes like I do,” using colorful metaphors:

It is a matter of days before she is identified by someone, or someone will flag her license plates, and she will be recognized publicly moving forward. And shamed. At work. At the supermarket. Everywhere.

I’m not suggesting that singling out Lords and Ladies (public shaming) is good or bad. It is simply a cultural glimpse at the way people are sometimes publicly shamed here in Mexico.

And the list is endless! There is Lady Pizza and Lord Tacos, Lady Chiles and Lord Peatones (pedestrians)… All available on YouTube and other social media outlets for your amusement. Karma is a bitch.

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