Several people have shared an image of a man standing behind a podium wearing just his briefs. As per the social media claim, he is Mexican MP Antonio Garcia protesting against corruption. The claim also ascribes the following quote to him, “You are ashamed to see me naked and you are not ashamed of your people whose money you have striped, plundered and stolen so that you can live in complete luxury with high wages and enjoy with your families.” This has been widely shared on Twitter and Facebook.

Twitter user @MuthuiMkenya’s tweet gained over 1,700 retweets. (archived link)

The image is also being shared with the Hindi translation of the English text on Twitter. @Ms_Marmat is one such user who tweeted in Hindi. (archived link)

Similarly, several Facebook users posted the image. The Hindu’s political editor Nistula Hebbar quote-tweeted @MuthuiMkenya’s tweet and made the following remark, “The lady official sipping coffee while all this is going is just…” (archived link)

The picture is viral across the globe. It received close to 8,000 shares from a page ‘World Press‘ that wrote a slightly different caption, “In Mexico, a member of Parliament removes all his clothes in Parliament during debate… “You are ashamed to see me naked, but you are not ashamed to see your people in the streets naked, barefooted, desparate, jobless and hungry after you have stolen all their money and wealth”………he told the Parliament!! What a courageous man, this is how it should be.” The image was shared with the same caption on 9gag.

Old image shared with false claim

Alt News performed a reverse image search on Google and found that the image was published in 2013 by BBC, The Wall Street Journal and Daily Mail. As per the reports, the man is Democratic Revolution Party MP Antonio Garcia Conejo. He stripped down to his underwear to show his rejection of the energy law that allowed private companies to drill for oil and gas with the state-run firm Pemex in exchange for a share of the profits.

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In August, The Guardian reported that Emilio Lozoya, the former head of Mexico’s state oil company Pemex accused former Mexican presidents — Enrique Peña Nieto, Felipe Calderón and Carlos Salinas — of corruption.

Next, we performed a keyword search on YouTube and found that the historic speech by Conejon was uploaded by Cámara de Diputados, Mexican parliament’s lower house. Alt News used Google Transcribe app to transcribe the entire speech, then translated Spanish to English on Google translate. We did not find him making the statement attributed on social media.

In the video, he began to strip around 11:30 minutes and said (translated via Google), “I am not ashamed because of what they are doing. They [government] took away and privatized the telecom [industry] in Mexico. Where is the profit? Railroads of Mexico are not going to achieve [profits] either. Shame on you! …. You can call it whatever you want. You are a coward! You are a coward! You are a coward!”

We also looked for media reports that may have carried the statement ascribed to the MP but to no avail. BBC quoted Conejo as, “This is how you’re stripping the nation. Where is the benefit? I’m not ashamed, what you’re doing is a shame.”

Therefore, an image from a speech given in Mexican parliament by Democratic Revolution Party MP Antonio Garcia Conejo in 2013 has been shared as him protesting against corruption and poverty in the country. He was protesting against an energy bill that would invite private players to invest in state-run oil and gas company.

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About the Author

Archit is a graduate in English Literature from The MS University of Baroda. He also holds a post-graduation diploma in journalism from the Asian Collge of Journalism. Since then he has worked at Essel Group's English news channel WION as a trainee journalist, international NGO S3IDF as a fundraising & communications officer, and The Hindu as a reporter. At Alt News, he works as a fact-checking journalist.