Shots fired during an event and several narco banners forced narcocorrido band Grupo Arriesgado to cancel a concert in Tijuana, which was set to happen on Feb.11.
“You’re not in your territory here. You have hours to leave Tijuana, or else. So, go grab your gun and your radio and go back to where you are allowed to sing your songs. Because if you stay here, you’re going to get fucked,” one of the banners read.
The message was left the night before the event, on Feb. 10, hanging from an overpass at one of the main intersections of the border city Tijuana. The New Generation Jalisco Cartel (CJNG is its Spanish acronym) was allegedly behind the threats, according to news reports.
Earlier that day, unknown men fired several shots in a crowded mall during an autograph signing by the band. The gunfire created panic amongst the attendees and prompted the band to immediately leave the venue.
Grupo Arriesgado is a popular narcocorrido band in Mexico and has been accused of having ties with the Sinaloa Cartel because of its many songs dedicated to cartel bosses like Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada or Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán’s sons, known as “Los Chapitos”.
Just a few hours before the concert was due to start, cartel henchmen left another banner, along with a funeral wreath, outside a local radio station where Grupo Arriesgado was doing an interview. They also fired shots outside the building, according to local media.
Arturo González, the band’s singer, announced the cancellation of the concert on his social media.
“I want to apologize to all the people of Tijuana. If this was up to me, I would be singing here tonight. But we’ll be back,” González said.
Shortly after, the official instagram account of the band also posted a message announcing the cancellation “due to sensitive events and complying with local authorities.”
This wouldn’t be the first time a narcocorrido band is accused of having ties to a major drug cartel.
In a different incident in November, another musician Luis R. Conríquez was flagged by Mexican authorities for being dedicated to the New Generation Jalisco Cartel”, following the release of his song “Las Hazañas Del Doble R” (The Exploits Of Double R). In it, he details the life of Ricardo Ruiz Velasco, known as “Double R,” an alleged CJNG leader.
Conríquez’s representatives made a public statement on social media denying the “exclusivity” of Conríquez to CJNG. But authorities said that it was after the filming of a music video by Conríquez in Ruiz’s ranch that they were able to locate Ruiz’s location and launch a successful operation to capture him last year.
Mexican authorities had been following Conríquez’ movements in Mexico for over a year in an attempt to locate possible cartel members, according to government documents leaked last year. The leak was one of Mexico’s biggest, and composed of more than 4 million confidential documents, mostly emails, from inside the Mexican government.