Ariel Hernandez, better known by his online persona “El Wiko,” died unexpectedly of a heart attack Monday morning in his hometown of Caborca, Sonora, Mexico. He was known across Mexico and the internet for his iconic viral video “Afedo, camate pofavo” (“Alfredo, be quiet please”). He was found deceased in his home by close friends. He was estimated to be in his early to mid-20s.
Hernandez, an amateur comedian and content creator, shot to fame in 2018 when a video filmed by his friends went massively viral on YouTube and social media. In the video, a visibly intoxicated Hernandez tries to recount a story of heartbreak, only to be constantly interrupted by his friend “Alfredo,” prompting the frustrated exclamation “Afedo, camate pofavo” that made him internationally famous.
The video struck a chord for its humor, authenticity, and Hernandez’s unique Sonoran accent and mannerisms. Almost overnight, he became a celebrity on the internet and meme culture in Mexico. His viral catchphrase spawned endless memes, jokes, and social media posts.
An outpouring of Grief from Fans and Friends
News of Hernandez’s untimely passing at such a young age has inspired great sadness across Mexico, especially in his home state of Sonora. Fans and friends have taken to social media to mourn and pay tribute.
His close friend and collaborator “El Kuate de Caborca” was the first to share the tragic news on Facebook Monday morning. In an emotional video, he confirmed Hernandez’s death and promised to keep followers updated about funeral arrangements.
“We woke up to sad news, El Wiko died. It seems it was a heart attack and he did not suffer, he just fell asleep. I wish it was another one of our pranks, but he did pass away. I will keep you all updated so anyone who wants to come say goodbye can.”
He later revealed more details, stating Hernandez had seemed fine when they last saw each other and describing the death as sudden.
Many fans online have praised Hernandez’s fun-loving spirit and the joy he brought to internet culture in Mexico. Memes and clips from his videos have been widely shared again as fans remember his legacy.
Questions Remain About Cause of Death
While El Kuate de Caborca stated doctors believe a heart attack was the cause of death, more details have yet to emerge.
It remains unclear if Hernandez suffered from any known health conditions that could have contributed to his passing. At his young age, the sudden heart attack comes as a shock, especially since friends say he seemed normal in recent days.
An autopsy is expected, which should provide more definitive information on the cause. Foul play is not suspected. Toxicology results may also shed light on factors like diet, lifestyle, and other health risks that could have played a role.
Some speculation has spread online about potential substance abuse, but no credible reports have surfaced to suggest this contributed to his death. Officials have warned about spreading unverified rumors at this early stage and say they will provide updates pending a full investigation.
Future of Hernandez’s Online Content Uncertain
It is not yet known what will happen to Hernandez’s social media accounts and online video content that made him a star.
His close collaborator and friend, El Kuate de Caborca, will likely play a role in managing his accounts going forward to preserve his legacy. However, intellectual property rights and access to accounts remain unclear.
It is possible Hernandez’s family members could gain control over the popular “El Wiko” brand and image rights. If so, they may restrict new usage of his content or authorize certain projects like memorial videos.
No matter what happens, Hernandez’s most iconic videos have already been widely copied, shared, and archived across the internet. His fame seems secured thanks to the continued circulation of clips like “Afedo, camate pofavo.” Memes and jokes referencing him also remain immortalized across social media.
While questions remain about what is next for his online presence, Hernandez’s impact on internet culture in Mexico has been carved in stone. For many fans, his videos represent a simpler, more innocent era of the internet. His passing marks the end of a chapter.
Funeral and Memorial Details Still Taking Shape
Planning is still underway for memorial services to honor Hernandez and allow the public to pay respects. His close friend, El Kuate de Caborca, has pledged to share more information as arrangements are made.
A large turnout is expected from both local fans and internet admirers across Mexico who want to say goodbye. Several notable social media figures and meme pages have indicated they plan to attend any public ceremonies.
No details have emerged yet on the exact date, location, and format of the ceremonies. His family may opt to keep the funeral private. Any public memorials in his hometown, Caborca, will likely draw large crowds that officials will need to plan for.
Hernandez’s burial site has also not been confirmed, but he will likely be laid to rest in a cemetery in Sonora state. Some fans have used social media to advocate for a statue or dedication to him in his hometown.
Details remain fluid, but Hernandez’s friends have vowed to give him a farewell fitting of his reputation and impact on internet culture across Mexico. His death serves as a reminder of how someone’s creativity and humor can touch countless lives online.