Some have called it the Mexican Spring. Others have compared it to the Occupy movement. And while analysts don't expect #YoSoy132 to have enough impact to sway the outcome of Sunday's presidential election in Mexico, the massive street demonstrations and digital campaigns it has sparked are focusing the world's attention on the nation's political and media powers.
"The truth shall make us free," shouts in bold letters across the top of the movement's website.
That, its leaders say, is its purpose. They want transparency and fairness in Mexico's media and its electoral process. And, their leaders say, they will continue their demonstrations to display their "discontent."
"No más cabrón," group leader Saúl Alvídrez declares in a recorded interview down the page.
Much of their efforts have been aimed at exposing what the organization sees as the overly cozy relationship between the media (specifically, but not exclusively, Televisa) and the political system. In a protest late last month, some 15,000 demonstrators marched to Televisa's headquarters.
"We are not one, we are not 100. Televisa, count us!" they chanted.
The group insists it is "apartidista," or party- less, open and inclusive.
But much of its message has been directed against PRI, the party that held power in Mexico for 70 years, and its candidate in the current presidential election, Enrique Peña Nieto.
Demonstrators have been seen waving signs that say, "I have a brain, I won't vote for PRI." They've targeted PRI campaign stops for anti- Peña protests.
In fact, the movement -- or at least its name -- was born from an appearance by Peña Nieto at the Ibero-American University in Mexico City in May. Students heckled him mercilessly. Peña Nieto's campaign dismissed what happened by contending the hecklers weren't even students, but people put up to it by the candidate's opponents.
In response, 131 students posted a YouTube video to prove they actually attended the university and said that they had participated in the incident. The movement then took the title "#YoSoy132" as a way of suggesting that everyone in the group has joined with the original 131.
Part guerrilla movement, part organized protest, #YoSoy132 demonstrations have included individuals on subway cars, and tens of thousands of marching in unison through Mexico City¿s streets.
Still, while the growing size of its marches are noteworthy (and, probably, alarming to PRI -- at least to some degree), they're not large enough to have a direct impact on the election at the ballot box. But, as a growing force, the movement's impact is already undeniable.
"The young, upper middle-class university students (active on social media) are not that important in population terms, but they are a group that can make a lot of noise," pollster Roy Campos told the Buenos Aires Herald.
And, there is evidence that the movement is attracting not only students.
"We are fed up of so many lies and of the hypocrisy of Pena Nieto and the media," Isabel Leyva, a 53-year-old housewife attending a protest with her daughter, told the Buenos Aires Herald.
So the real effect of #YoSoy132 may not be felt on Sunday, but it may be a sign that the country's youth will be a force to contend with from here on out.
Source: Terra/Carlos Harrison