Ecuador's Bonkers YouTuber Mayor Is Going To Prison For 5 Years
Here's your periodic reminder that fame isn't a good indicator of political competence -- even when you're famous for creating one of the purest works of art of the internet era. Ecuadorean musician Delfin Quishpe gained worldwide notoriety in 2006 due to his music video "Torres Gemelas" ("Twin Towers"), a "techno Andean"-style tribute to the victims of 9/11. More specifically, Delfin got the internet's attention thanks to the moment at 0:23 when he yells out, "No puede ser, nooooo!" ("It can't be, nooooo!") upon learning that the World Trade Center has been attacked, then drops an upbeat techno beat and starts singing.
NOTE: The video below includes 9/11 attacks footage and equally hard to watch acting.
For those who don't know Spanish, frankly, you should learn just to enjoy this song. But if you're in a hurry: the video tells the story of a man from Ecuador who has just arrived in New York to visit his girlfriend -- but, in a Robert Pattinson-worthy twist, it turns out it's 9/11/2001 and she "ended up there buried / in the rubble of the Twin Towers" (if you're wondering how he made those lyrics rhyme: he didn't). At the same time, we see Delfin singing his lively tune in front of footage of the Twin Towers on fire and images of crying New Yorkers, plus three tastefully placed phone numbers where you can contact his manager.
In early interviews, Delfin talked at length about his real-life girlfriend who was murdered by Al Qaeda, but he later claimed it was actually the girlfriend of the guy who uploaded the video to YouTube, and then at some point, he started saying it was all made up. Such is the devastating effect of trauma on the human psyche. After the video went viral, Delfin, who talks in the third person, got to perform at a festival in Spain that also featured Rick Astley, was invited to take part in the low budget Latin American equivalent of "We Are The World" with other YouTube stars, and rewrote his heartfelt 9/11 tribute to sell cooking oil:
And, eventually, he was elected mayor of his hometown of Guamote, handily defeating a guy with zero music videos over the 19 million view mark on YouTube. Unfortunately, his latest viral headlines aren't that positive: it was announced this November that Mayor Delfin has been sentenced to five years in prison for overpaying a single seller of pandemic-related medical supplies by almost $100,000, prompting thousands of "It can't be, nooooo!" responses on social media.
Delfin's defense claims that he agreed to pay that insane amount to get the supplies faster and save lives, which would mean he's going to jail for letting himself get scammed. Either way, this should serve as evidence that starring in hilarious music videos and governing are very different talents. Please keep that in mind before you elect the "Bed Intruder" guy president in 2024, America, as tempting as the idea might seem.
Maxwell Yezpitelok lives in Chile and also on Twitter.
Top image: Delfin Quishpe