The government of Mexican President Felipe Calderón made history this week when presidential spokeswoman Alejandra Sota announced that Mexico was the first country in the world to have an entire president’s cabinet actively using Twitter. The goal, Sota explained, “is accountability and to allow officials to better respond to citizens’ concerns.”
Mexico is at the forefront of connectivity in Latin America with 30.6 million Mexicans connected to the internet and the highest number of Facebook subscribers in the region. Still, while countries like Brazil, Colombia and Mexico have become the first to aggressively mix social media technology with politics, the region as a whole lags behind. Dariela Sosa, a Venezuelan journalist and social media expert who attended yesterday’s second annual World Summit on Political Communications in Quito, Ecuador, says Latin America is in its infancy in the use of “web 2.0” in politics.
There may be other practical applications for the government’s turn toward twitter this year, Sota admitted. She says there are plans in the works for social media technology to play a central role in the country’s 2012 presidential elections.