Nuevo Culture

Tijuana Bans Narcocorridos – Here’s What It Means for Corridos Tumbados Scene

Narcocorridos are officially banned from being performed in Tijuana, Mexico. The passage of the law on Nov. 8 follows Peso Pluma and Fuerza Regida’s recent concert cancellations in the city due to alleged cartel threats.

Tijuana entered global headlines in September when Jalisco Nueva Generación Cartel (CJNG) allegedly sent death threats to Peso Pluma via a narcomanta. A week later, the Mexican superstar canceled his concert that would’ve taken place at the Estadio Caliente on Oct. 14. Then, Fuerza Regida allegedly received death threats from CJNG as well. The Mexican-American group followed suit and canceled their show, which would’ve taken place at the same stadium on Oct. 6. The narcomantas for both artists stated that the threats were due to them singing narcocorridos at their shows.

Now, officials in the city of Tijuana are cracking down on narcocorridos. The new law can also affect corridos tumbados, which have sometimes overlapped with narcocorridos in terms of lyrics related to drug use. The city council voted unanimously to prohibit that type of music from being performed within the city.

According to the L.A. Times, any artist who “transmits, exhibits, sings or reproduces music, videos, images or any other similar thing that promotes the culture of violence or makes apologies for crime or for the authors of illegal acts in a live performance” can be subject to fines. Under the new ruling, any artist or band that performs or promotes narcocorridos can be fined up to $57,000.

Montserrat Caballero, the mayor of Tijuana, spoke highly of the new law passed. She also clarified that not all corridos are banned from being performed at concerts. “All artists are welcome,” she said. “Do not misrepresent what corridos are, because these are welcome and even inspirational and are part of Mexican folklore. What cannot be part of Mexican folklore and cannot represent us is the narcocorrido and the apology of crime.”

These types of laws aren’t a novelty in Mexico. Back in 2011, the municipality of Chihuahua passed a ban on narcocorridos performances. Los Tucanes de Tijuana was charged with a fine of $50,000 last month for performing “Fiesta en la Sierra,” which officials saw as promoting drug trafficking.