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Antonio Attolini: From Golden Boy to Televisa Sell Out

In less than 6 months, the Yo Soy 132 student movement has been able to challenge many of the popular narratives that define Mexican politics.

Youth are apathetic, they said; young people will stay home on election day, many projected.

They were wrong.

#YoSoy132 was not only able to play a major role in last July’s election, but in many regards able to shape the political discourse during and after the 2012 campaign period.

But all is not fine in the Land of 132.

With increased attention and a growing media presence came those seeking personal gain. Such was the case with Antonio Attolini of ITAM, the Autonomous Technological Institute of Mexico.

Attolini, who many in the press refer to as a “leader” and “spokesmen” of Yo Soy 132, proved to be a media hound very early in the movement.

In one famous exchange with Televisa anchor Carlos Loret, Attolini may have been foreshadowing his work with the monopolistic mega-network he was there to criticize.

Whether they were some of the first #YoSoy132 assemblies or the many protests outside Televisa studios, Attolini always seemed to find his way to the front of the camera.

So much was the frustration from his classmates at ITAM that the school’s 132 chapter posted a message saying Attolini was to longer give interviews as a 132 spokesman.

Maybe that’s what did it.

Last Sunday, Sin Filtro, a political talk show whose panel is made up of college students and hosted by Genaro Lozano, premiered on ForoTV, a Televisa-owned network.

Attolini and Lozano were immediately bombarded with Twitter messages calling them “sell outs” and “opportunists,” a claim Attolini defended by saying he would not sign a contract with Televisa, nor accept payment for his participation on the program.

Earlier today in an interview with CNN, Attolini reneged and said it would be fair to accept payment, suggesting he had signed a contract by saying he’d be participating in the show for the year-long season.

From golden boy to sell out. It was just a matter of time.

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