Peso Pluma Cancels Tijuana Show, Joins List of Artists Threatened by Organized Crime
Peso Pluma, the stage name of Mexican singer-songwriter Hassan Emilio Kabande Laija, canceled his upcoming show in Tijuana set for October 14, joining a painful list of artists in danger or killed by organized crime in Mexico.
The decision came after chilling death threats appeared across the city, warning him not to perform or it would be his “last performance.” Given the palpable risk, the artist opted for caution, prioritizing the safety of his fans and crew. The announcement came via an Instagram story on Double P Records, his record label.
Safety measures amplified
The message said:
“Our objective is to protect the fans and the crew. For the safety of everybody involved, we are canceling our show in Tijuana. Thank you to all the fans for your understanding. We love you. Sincerely, La Doble P”
Reports from Mexico suggest he’s surrounded himself with a specialized security team called “Los 12 Apostoles” and often travels in armored vehicles, even donning a bulletproof vest as needed.
The root of the threat against Peso Pluma
But what sparked such hatred towards the artist? Peso Pluma’s music, specifically in the corridos bélicos genre, features songs that idolize organized crime figures, including Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman. Such content, especially in a country like Mexico that grapples with violence from all kinds of illegal trafficking, can be both adored by fans and seen as an insult by the very figures the songs idolize.
The artist’s performance at a prominent music festival in Mexico City this summer, where he sang various corridos belicos, might have triggered the threats in Tijuana.
Peso Pluma isn’t alone: other artists in the line of fire
Earlier this year, Grupo Arriesgado from Sinaloa faced a similar situation as La Doble P. Before a scheduled concert in Tijuana, armed men fired shots near their fan meet-and-greet location before a concert. A warning was left, urging the band to flee the city and not to perform. The city authorities canceled the show.
In 2021, artists like Christian Nodal, Julion Alvarez, and Pancho Barraza were also receiving threats from organized crime. Narcomantas, pieces of cloth or even cardboard used by drug cartels to send public messages, warned these artists against performing at La Feria de Metepec in San Isidro, emphasizing that their safety was at stake.
Ernesto Barajas of Enigma Norteño was yet another victim. A narcomanta addressed to him disrupted a planned concert in Baja California. These threats aren’t idle. Gerardo Ortiz has had several run-ins with such threats, even leading to the cancellation of his performances.
Artists who were murdered
The threats from organized crime shouldn’t be dismissed lightly, and Peso Pluma’s team seemed to think so. History shows that many artists have tragically lost their lives after ignoring them. Chalino Sánchez, the King of Corridos, was killed in 1992. After performing in Sinaloa and reportedly receiving a death threat during his show, he was abducted and later found dead.
Valentín Elizalde, another significant figure in Mexican music, was brutally gunned down in 2006. After performing his song “A mis enemigos” with alleged messages from “El Chapo” against Los Zetas, he was ambushed and killed.
While some cases involving the deaths of artists allegedly linked to organized crime organizations remain unsolved, other high-profile figures in the industry have also been named as potential victims. These include Zayda Peña, Sergio Gomez (lead singer of K-Paz de la Sierra), Sergio Vega “El Shaka,” Sergio Valdez (singer of La Acelerada), Alex Quintero, Julio Verdugo, and Roberto Rodriguez Trejo, vocalist for Los Hijos del Cartel, among others.
Jenni Rivera also reportedly received death threats from various criminal organizations. Although her family has consistently refuted that any such group orchestrated her death, some continue to believe otherwise.
Balancing art and safety for these artists, their passion is also their vulnerability. The tales they weave into their songs while enthralling many also invite danger. While Mexico grapples with organized crime, artists are torn between self-expression and self-preservation.
Notice any corrections needed? Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org