Valentina Batres Guadarrama was attending (at least initially) a remote meeting of the Congress of Mexico City on Friday. But seemingly not intent on sticking around, the legislator of the National Regeneration Movement could be seen using a photograph of herself as a virtual background before appearing to exit the call.
If this was a cover-up, then it was not a great plan on paper, and it was executed very poorly too. Best case scenario, surely you have to get the photo set up in advance and then just hope nobody asks you anything or notices that you don't blink. But Guadarrama could clearly be seen leaving her seat, with her arm intermittently jutting into the foreground.
To make matters worse for her, the Zoom meeting was recorded and Jorge Gavino, deputy of the local Democratic Revolution Party (PRD), uploaded the damning footage on Twitter, along with the caption: "I was thinking you were paying a lot of attention to my speech, until I realised that your attentive look was a photograph."
As you might expect, the footage became the subject of widespread mockery, with Gavino's video viewed more than 54,000 times.
Guadarrama has since responded to the condemnation, claiming she accidentally set the photograph as her background and attempted to get rid of it.
In a statement shared on Twitter, she said: "My lack of knowledge in handling digital tools made me make a mistake. I put a wallpaper that showed my frozen image. I stopped for a second to request technical help at home.
"It is worth mentioning that each session requires our fingerprints to verify the presence of each of the deputies present.
"If you see the full video of the session, you can see that during the session I appear moving and making various gestures and movements."
A la opinión pública pic.twitter.com/3tZxJzEv8B
- Valentina Batres (@valentinabtg) September 22, 2020
So I suppose we'll just have to form our own judgements about what exactly happened. I for one find it more plausible that this was a case of ineptness in 'handing digital tools', rather than a shambolic truancy attempt. After all, politicians are notoriously honest, so I'll take her word for it.
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