Former Mexican President Vicente Fox Quesada found himself embroiled in controversy over the weekend after posting a sexist attack on Mariana Rodríguez, wife of presidential hopeful Samuel García of the Citizens’ Movement party. Fox referred to Rodríguez, a prominent businesswoman and activist, as García’s “lady-in-waiting” in a tweet posted on November 25th.
The incident occurred just as García’s campaign was gaining steam ahead of the 2024 election. Fox’s insulting language towards Rodríguez came on the heels of his criticism towards García as well, claiming the gubernatorial candidate was unfit to lead Mexico.
The backlash was swift, with users on X lambasting Fox for his inappropriate and derogatory remarks towards Rodríguez. Critics pointed out the irony that Fox had posted the offensive tweet on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
First Lady Hopeful Fires Back, Demands Respect
Rodríguez quickly responded, chastising the former president for attempting to demean her and demanding respect. “I am a woman, I am a graduate, I am a businesswoman, I am a wife, and I am a mother,” Rodríguez wrote. “I do not allow you to speak to me like that nor to any other woman. We are not accessories nor objects, nor can you disrespect us, much less in such a vulgar way.”
Others joined Rodríguez in condemning Fox’s attack, including fellow presidential contender Xóchitl Gálvez, who stated, “My fight is against violence against women, whoever it comes from.” Users on social media platforms continued to express outrage over the former president’s offensive language.
Citizens’ Movement Party Files Complaint With Electoral Commission
In the wake of the intense criticism, Jorge Álvarez Máynez, coordinator of García’s presidential pre-campaign, announced on Sunday that the Citizens’ Movement party had filed an official complaint against Fox with Mexico’s National Electoral Institute for “political violence with gender elements.”
The complaint accuses Fox of violating Rodríguez’s political and electoral rights and demands that the former president issue a public apology and delete his offensive tweets. It cites Mexico’s constitution along with national laws and United Nations conventions prohibiting discrimination against women.
“We will not allow the PRIAN to muddy this contest with baseness and lies, as they have done in the past,” wrote Álvarez Máynez, referring to Fox and Mexico’s longtime ruling political parties. “Their desperation must have limits.”
Fox Claims Account Suspension Was “Arbitrary,” Vows Return
The intense backlash appeared to lead to consequences for Fox on Monday as his X account, which had over one million followers, was mysteriously suspended. Fox claimed that he received no notification and that the suspension was unjust.
“I want to inform you that my Twitter account has been suspended arbitrarily and without any notification,” Fox told media outlets. “We are working to resolve this problem.”
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However, some observers pointed out that when an account is merely suspended by X, it displays a “account suspended” notice, whereas Fox’s account displays an “this account does not exist” error, indicating he may have deleted it himself.
In recent Instagram stories, an indignant Fox alleged he is working to restore his account, vowing to supporters, “They haven’t gotten rid of me.”
Presumptive First Lady Mocks Fox and Celebrates His Removal
For her part, Rodríguez celebrated Fox’s deplatforming, posting memes mocking the former president. “Nobody messes with the fosfo fosfo,” wrote Rodríguez, using her social media nickname, on Monday night.
One meme the businesswoman shared depicted Fox’s suspended account next to a photo of X owner Elon Musk with the message “Don’t mess with fosfo fosfo, dog.”
Husband and Nuevo León governor Samuel García also posted a meme announcing “new days” in light of Fox’s removal. Political analysts note that Fox’s attacks on Rodríguez seem to indicate concern over García’s growing popularity in the polls.
With Fox vowing his return to the site, the saga seems unlikely to disappear. Fox remains a significant voice for Mexico’s conservative National Action Party. Meanwhile, Samuel García and Mariana Rodríguez continue to build momentum in their quest to lead the nation.
What Comes Next?
It remains unclear whether X will allow Fox back onto its platform after multiple violations of its policies. His claims that the suspension was “arbitrary” leave room for doubt about precisely what transpired behind the scenes.
Some predict legal consequences may arise from the Citizens’ Movement’s official complaint filed with the electoral institute as well. Fox is no stranger to controversy, but his latest comments struck a national nerve. With García rising and the 2024 elections nearing, many will be observing closely to see if Fox reignites rivalries or fades from prominence.
For Mariana Rodríguez, the event demonstrated the continuing need to vigorously combat misogyny and discrimination as she continues blazing her trail toward potentially becoming Mexico’s next First Lady.