Presidents usually stand before video cameras to tell the world how great they are.
Or, at least, to offer a tinge of good news.
Perhaps Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto couldn’t wait for those lumbering trucks to arrive.
He needed to tell the Mexican people — and, indeed, the world — that infamous drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman had been captured.
Recaptured, if you want to be picky.
So he took to Twitter on Friday to declare: “Mission Accomplished: We’ve got him. I want to inform Mexicans that Jose Guzman Loera has been captured.”
Misión cumplida: lo tenemos. Quiero informar a los mexicanos que Joaquín Guzmán Loera ha sido detenido.
— Enrique Peña Nieto (@EPN) January 8, 2016
Not everyone on Twitter appreciated the announcement, with one Twitterer even wryly suggesting that the day won’t end before El Chapo escapes again.
After all, he has done so twice. The second time was in July of last year, when he was blessed by a massive tunneling operation that included a motorcycle that ran along a tunnel beneath the prison in which he was being held. Oddly, no prison staff claimed to have heard any of the tunnel-building.
The president’s choice of Twitter, though, is an interesting one. When CNN writes that “President Enrique Peña Nieto announced via Twitter,” it gives the Twitter brand a certain authority.
The company has struggled to make significant profits. It’s even toying with the idea of allowing 2,000-word tweets, as opposed to the current 140 characters.
With a big story such as this one, Mexico’s president got the first short, sharp news out in the best way he and his advisers saw fit. And the best way to him was Twitter.
The social network has played an even wider role since El Chapo’s last escape. Last August, a tweet sent from an account believed to belong to El Chapo’s son Alfredito appeared to not only reveal that he was with his dad but also offered a clue as to their location.
After the president’s tweet on Friday, the Alfredito Guzman Twitter account offered this Twittered thought: “Now they’re going to start with their comments.”
I suspect that some of the world’s finer bookies will already be posting odds — on private social networks, of course — on how long it will be before El Chapo escapes again.
I wonder if, should he manage another escape, the president will announce it on Twitter. Somehow, I doubt it.