Lidiane Leite, a 25 year old mayor of a small town in Brazil called Bom Jardim is on the run after she was accused of swindling $4 million which was set aside for a project in the town. That is not even the weird part of the scandal, apparently she was running the town while living in another town via WhatsApp according to a report by the Beeb.
How did she even rise into power? Well, 3 years ago, her boyfriend apparently was banned from running for the mayoral seat due to corruption allegations. She stepped in, got elected and funny enough, she appointed her boyfriend, Mr Beto Rocha as her main adviser who was 15 years her senior. She left him in the town, moved to another town 150 miles from her town (240km) and has since been running the town by checking with Rocha & the other cabinet members via WhatsApp. How about that!
There was a federal investigation named “Operation Eden” that uncovered the scandal of the misappropriated $4 million for the town’s schools and Ms Leite went on the run. A state judge also was quoted as saying he would seek an international arrest warrant if she doesn’t surrender by today. However, her lawyer Carlos Barros said that “she was too young and inexperienced when she took office” and “she lacked confidence and delegated most of the duties to Rocha”.
It is actually interesting she was able to run the town via WhatsApp remotely for quite a long period time and be able to unfortunately misappropriate the town’s funds. However, we have incidences of social media being put into good use, where it makes communication easier between residents and the authorities. Examples include a town in Spain that uses Twitter for communication and a police force in India that uses WhatsApp and Periscope to fight crime. Such examples are the ones that need to be encouraged in the long run.