Fuerza Regida band
This is the second time that Fuerza Regida has had to suspend its plans due to problems with organizations allegedly linked to drug trafficking. The first was in Tijuana last year. Fuerza Regida / Twitter

MIAMI - Hours before their presentation in the Mexican city of Cancun, the Mexican corrido band Fuerza Régida announced the cancellation of their concert this Friday night as a result of death threats received. This is not the first time the group has cancelled an event after receiving an ultimatum from an organized crime group.

In a statement published on their social networks, the Mexican music group explained that they had made the decision for reasons "beyond our control" and instructed their fans to receive a refund for their tickets.

This is the second time that Fuerza Regida has had to suspend its plans due to problems with organizations allegedly linked to drug trafficking. The first was in Tijuana last year.

The threats against Fuerza Regida

Last week, two messages written in blankets—known by the locals as narcomantas—and bearing threats, allegedly from a criminal organization, were found in strategic locations across Cancún, igniting fears for the safety of the band members and raising concerns about the impact of organized crime on the Latin music industry, specifically the Mexican regional genre.

The messages from organized crime groups—one near the Inmaculada Concepción church in region 228, and another in region 102—contained chilling messages. They warned that the April 19th performance would be the group's last and threatened their lives explicitly.

This situation mirrors an incident from October of the previous year, where Fuerza Regida was similarly threatened by the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) prior to a show in Tijuana, which also led to the last-minute cancellation of the concert.

Fuerza Régida statement cancelling their Cancún show
Fuerza Régida statement cancelling their Cancún show Courtesy Fuerza Régida

Why is Fuerza Regida targeted?

Fuerza Regida has carved a niche in the regional Mexican music scene with their innovative take on corridos tumbados—a modern urban twist on the traditional corrido. Formed in 2015 in San Bernardino, California, the group gained popularity through social media and YouTube, where their raw and authentic storytelling captured the hearts of a young audience.

Their music frequently explores themes of street life, survival, and the realities of living in marginalized communities, often interwoven with the narrative fabric of drug cartels.

The threats have never arrived with an explanation. The working theory is that some organizations consider some songs provocations, particularly when they praise rival crime bosses or cartels. Other people believe that they come after certain musicians refuse to sing in a criminal's party or decide to stop doing business with them. Experts in organize crime believe it is probably a mix of both.

Other artists threatened by organized crime

In September 2023, Peso Pluma was forced to cancel his show in Tijuana, and he ended up scraping all his presentations in Mexico. A few months earlier, the Sinaloa-based Grupo Arriesgado faced a similar situation in the same city, when shots were fired near the venue where they were scheduled to meet fans, followed by a menacing message advising the band to leave the city and cancel their performance. Consequently, local authorities called off the event.

Back in 2021, mexican music artists such as Christian Nodal, Julión Alvarez, and Pancho Barraza also faced threats from organized crime. They received warnings through "narcomantas," which are messages on cloth or cardboard used by drug cartels, not to perform at La Feria de Metepec in San Isidro due to safety concerns.

Historically, numerous artists have met tragic ends after disregarding threats. In 1992, Chalino Sánchez, known as the King of Corridos, was murdered. Following a performance in Sinaloa where he allegedly received a death threat, he was kidnapped his body being discovered later.

Valentín Elizalde, a prominent figure in Mexican music, was assassinated in 2006. He was attacked and killed shortly after performing "A mis enemigos," a song thought to contain messages from "El Chapo" directed at Los Zetas.

There are several unresolved cases of artists' deaths potentially connected to criminal organizations, with others also cited as possible targets. Victims and potential victims include Zayda Peña, Sergio Gomez of K-Paz de la Sierra, Sergio Vega "El Shaka," Sergio Valdez of La Acelerada, Alex Quintero, Julio Verdugo, and Roberto Rodriguez Trejo of Los Hijos del Cartel.

Jenni Rivera is another artist who allegedly received threats from criminal groups. Despite her family's denials of any criminal involvement in her death, suspicions persist among some.

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