Mexico’s Supreme Court Hires TikTok Celebrity

TikTok celebrity Cristian Magazo. Photo: Facebook


Former Mexican Supreme Court (SCJN) Chief Justice Arturo Zaldívar ordered the hiring of Cristian Edgar Guerrero Flores — more popularly known as Cristian Magazo — a TikTok celebrity, “for advice on managing social media posts and production and content creation,” for which Guerrero Flores, who took the job on Aug. 2022, was allegedly paid 93,522 pesos a month of taxpayers’ money, according to a report on Wednesday, March 22, by Mexican daily newspaper Reforma.

Zaldívar stepped down from his post on Jan. 1 of this year, but Guerrero Flores continues to work for the SCJN in a different capacity — as “content manager and follow-up assistant,” according to the Reforma report — which pays him “36,117 pesos a month plus benefits.”

Guerrero Flores has a law degree from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), but became famous for his TikTok and YouTube videos. As a content creator and influencer, he has accumulated 1.7 million followers on TikTok, more than 76,200 followers on Instagram, 1,464 on Twitter and 4,900 on Facebook. He also has 38,900 subscribers on YouTube.

Guerrero Flores became popular on TikTok in 2020, at the height of the the covid-19 pandemic, for his videos on legal issues in which he gives quick and funny explanations. Upon his hiring by the SCJN in August, Guerrero Flores reported to Alejandra Spitalier, general secretary of the SCJN, and the closest official to Zaldívar at that time.

Zaldívar is known as a TikTok content creator himself, and started posting his own videos in September 2021. When he stepped down as chief justice early this year, Zaldívar even made it known — through a TikTok post, of course — that he would not leave the social media platform and would continue to produce videos.

“Thank you for asking me not to leave; I am leaving as chief justice of the court, but not TikTok. We will continue to see each other,” said Zaldívar in the video.

Zaldívar has been giving legal advice through his TikTok channel, the most recent of which was a video of him explaining that “infidelity is no longer a crime in Mexico.”

In a column for business-focused Mexican daily El Economista on Oct. 26, titled “What is Minister Zaldívar looking for with his TikTok account?” journalist Ivan Quezada wondered whether the former chief justice jumped on the platform to make himself “more popular among the population.”

“Social networks function as a political dissemination tool for candidates who want to maintain a presence during the electoral processes, but they also help other characters to raise their image and make them more popular among the population,” Quezada wrote. “Is this the case of the (former) Supreme Court chief justice with his account on TikTok?”

Zaldívar has been known on several occasions to rule in favor of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s (AMLO) initiatives, chief among them the decree ordering the nation’s military to participate in public security work, and the electricity reform that prioritizes state-run carbon-based energy sources over clean alternatives.

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