Spring breakers in Mexico chanting ‘build the wall’? Mind the fake news | World news

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It was an eye-popping story which lit up the internet: American college kids running wild in Mexico by braying “build the wall” to affronted Mexicans.

The party hordes who filled Cancún’s bars and beaches for spring break last month were apparently mixing tequila with Donald Trump Kool-Aid and insulting their hosts.

A Peruvian vacationer blew the whistle in a Facebook post, recounting how a group of Americans chanted the slogan during a cruise.

The story ricocheted around blogs and news sites illustrated with images of bare-chested, bikini-clad bacchanals around the Yucatan peninsula. Commentators weighed in, most condemning the spring breakers as embarrassing ambassadors of Trumpism. Others lauded them for giving Mexico a taste of the “bad behaviour” undocumented immigrants brought to the United States.

There is, however, a complication. The story is largely false. There is no xenophobic surge in Cancún.

“Trump? The breakers don’t really mention him,” said Jesus Bat, 25, out one recent night handing flyers for Divas nightclub. “If they do it’s usually to say ‘fuck Trump’.”

Mario Quijano, manager of the Caribbean Carnival cruise, agreed. “If politics comes up they usually say they didn’t vote for him. People are here to have a good time.”

Interviews with almost two dozen bouncers, barmen, cleaners, waiters and other service staff yielded similar responses: none had encountered Trump-tinged sentiments, spotted Make America Great caps or heard chants about the wall. Few had even heard of the incident on the cruise ship – including people who work on it. “News to…

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