Entertainment

Jenni Rivera Was Scared By Death Threats Well Before Her Plane Crashed

On the anniversary of Jenni Rivera’s tragic death, radio show personality Pepe Garza released a shocking, never-before-heard audio recording of his last interview with Rivera, during which she expressed deep-seated fear of performing in Mexico due to innumerable death threats. While mystery has long surrounded Rivera’s sudden death on December 9, 2012, when she and six other passengers plummeted to their deaths near Monterrey, Mexico, new questions are mounting since Pepe Garza published his 35-minute YouTube video entitled “The Interview Never Published: Jenni Rivera’s Goodbye.” According to Garza, Rivera had urgently asked him to interview her to “leave a testimony” in case anything happened to her. She hoped that the interview would never need to be published, but asked him to record an emotional goodbye just in case.

Garza revealed the interview along with the reaction of her children, Chiquis and Johnny, as they heard their mother’s voice. Now, her fans suspect that Rivera might be alive and living in witness protection.

Rivera confessed that she lived with a haunting fear of the death threats, more than she had let on to loved ones.

CREDIT: PEPE GARZA / YOUTUBE

While Rivera was born in Long Beach, the Mexican-American superstar often traveled to Mexico to reach more of her banda music fans. Rivera had just performed at the Monterrey Arena on the evening of Dec. 8, 2012. After the show, she held a press conference and quickly boarded a Learjet 25 at the Monterrey Airport around 3:20 a.m. to fly to Toluca, Mexico for an appearance on Mexico’s version of “The Voice.” Instead, just 15 minutes after the jet took flight, the plane went dark. Later that day, the plane’s wreckage, along with the bodies of its two pilots and five passengers, including Jenni Rivera, was found near Iturbide, Nuevo León. The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board and Mexican authorities never determined the cause for the crash. Since the plane had nosedived into the earth, its high speed caused so much wreckage that even the black box flight recorders were destroyed. To this day, authorities say Rivera’s death was due to “loss of control of the aircraft for undetermined reasons.”

Rivera was a brazen feminist, using her role as one of the first women to sing narcocorridos to empower women to rise up from oppressive gender roles. For the first time ever, we know that Rivera was a victim of death threats, but she never changed her behavior or her plans for any misogynist. She also rarely let on that she was overcoming a fear of death on a daily basis.

Rivera had told very few people about the death threats because she didn’t want to scare anyone.

CREDIT: @CARDIBMEXICO / TWITTER

That’s how strong she was. “What I do is so important to me, Pepe, and I’m a very brave and determined woman,” Rivera told Garza in the audio recording. “That’s why I’m here. Nobody knows. Not even my family knows … not my friends or companions. And that’s how I want it to be because I don’t want to scare more people.” Rivera talked about the endless death threats she received on burgeoning social media platforms, on phone calls and emails. At one point, she had to involve the FBI to determine if it was safe for her to go to a concert in Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Mexico, for fear she’d be kidnapped before being killed. Chiquis seemed to recall that moment in time for her mother. “But she said, ‘Too bad. I’m going. I believe in God,'” Chiquis told Garza. 

“It’s a risk that you’re taking, and I ask myself, ‘Why do you keep doing this?’ And in reality, one thing leads to the next and you never stop, but I do it because I love what I do and the love I have for the public,” the late Rivera said in Spanish.

Pepe Garza was waiting until it felt right to release the interview.

CREDIT: @ADRAXO / TWITTER

“It’s an interview where she reveals many things that are not very clear yet. … She asked me to interview her because she had received death threats and she wanted to leave a testimony that this was happening in case something happened to her,” Garza said, according to a Los Angeles Times translation. “I’ve let many years go by since Jenni’s death, and something in my heart told me this was the year to reveal and share this.” Rivera’s son, Johnny, thanked Garza, saying that his mother’s words are very important to him and that when he finds something new of hers, it’s a very big deal for him. Rivera’s last words in the interview were emotional as she said, “We don’t need more chaos in the world. … I believe in an almighty God who has carried me forward in many aspects of my life, and I trust that he’ll take me out of this, too.

One fan tweeted, “jenni rivera’s last message has me balling my eyes out. this interview is insane but i feel like it definitely brought her kids closure,” while others are determined to believe that Rivera is still alive. “It’s been 7 years and I still believe that our Jenni Rivera is alive and she’s just being protected by witness protection,” tweeted another fan. 

Listen to the full interview here.

READ: Jenni Rivera Is Set To Make Debut On Big Screen With A Biopic Detailing Her Life, Struggle, And Untimely Death

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