Will Peso Pluma's Tijuana Concert Be Silenced by Narco Threats?

The upcoming concert of singer Peso Pluma in Tijuana has been thrown into uncertainty following explicit threats allegedly from the Jalisco Cartel. The case transcends individual safety, raising questions about public security, artistic freedom, and the ethical dimensions of entertainment.

Will Peso Pluma's Tijuana Concert Be Silenced by Narco Threats?
The uncertainty surrounding Peso Pluma's concert while navigating the balance between cultural freedom and public safety. Credit: ese_erre

In a disquieting revelation that seems pulled straight from the plot of a suspenseful crime drama, three threatening messages—known as narcomantas—appeared recently in Tijuana, targeting the singer Peso Pluma. The alleged source of these warnings is the Jalisco Cartel – New Generation (CJNG), one of Mexico’s most powerful criminal syndicates. The looming threat appears to be potent enough to be treated as a public safety issue, not merely a matter of individual concern.

The foreboding messages are chilling in their explicitness: “This goes for you Peso Pluma, refrain from performing on October 14 because it will be your last performance, this for being disrespectful and loose tongue. You show up, and we will break your whole mother. Att CJNG.” The text is charged with menace and seeks to instill fear, not just in Peso Pluma, but also in anyone associated with him or his concert.

The backdrop to this episode is the Caliente Stadium, a venue capable of accommodating 27,333 people. It is situated within the Agua Caliente Racetrack and is concessioned to former PRI mayor Jorge Hank Rhon—a name that itself carries complex baggage of sociopolitical implications in the region.

Policing, Politics, and Performance

For now, the Municipal Police have arrested a person in connection with the threats, although the individual remains unidentified. Mayor Montserrat Caballero has chosen a cautious stance, declaring that the investigation into the threats and arrest are still underway and that the fate of the concert is contingent upon the outcome.

On the surface, this seems like a straightforward case of public security. Yet, when you dive deeper, a convoluted array of issues unravels. Firstly, the question arises: does the threat bear enough credence to cancel a large-scale event that would affect tens of thousands? The mayor's ambiguous statement, “If there was a risk for someone, yes (it would be cancelled), (but) currently we have not determined that there is a risk,” adds more fog than clarity.

What is even more intriguing is Mayor Caballero's remarks about Peso Pluma's genre of music. The mayor has pointed out that citizens should be the ones to decide what type of music young people listen to, subtly deflecting any suggestion of moral or ethical issues that could be associated with the artist’s work. This statement, while diplomatically evasive, opens up a Pandora's box of questions about the role of art and artists in society, especially in an environment already fraught with violence and criminal activity.

Peso Pluma on stage at a previous event, unaware that his next concert in Tijuana would become a focal point in a debate about public safety, artistic freedom, and societal ethics. Credit: Wikimedia

Where Do We Go from Here?

Even if the authorities were to cancel the concert, would it stem the demand for Peso Pluma's genre of music? The Mayor rightfully acknowledges that prohibition wouldn't change the listening habits of young people. It appears that the problem lies not just in the intersecting crosshairs of public safety and freedom of expression, but also in the broader social fabric that makes such art forms both perilous and appealing.

What is clear is that Peso Pluma's impending concert in Tijuana is now less about the music and more about the uneasy confluence of public safety, freedom of artistic expression, and the ethics of entertainment. It offers a revealing lens through which we can examine the complexities of a society in which art, politics, and violence are inseparably interlinked.

As the days count down to the concert and as the investigation unfolds, we are left to ponder these disquieting complexities. The Mayor's decisions in the coming days will not just determine the fate of a musical event, but could serve as a precedent in the uneasy balance between cultural freedom and public safety in the modern world.