Tuesday, April 16, 2024

López Obrador chimes in on Mazatlán’s banda music battle

President López Obrador on Monday expressed his support for musicians in Mazatlán who took to the streets last week to defend their right to play on the beaches in the Sinaloa resort city.

The banda sinaloense musicians have “every right” to protest, López Obrador told reporters at his morning press conference.

The musicians protested after Mazatlán hoteliers called for live music to be banned or heavily restricted on the city’s beaches.

One hotel owner, Ernesto Coppel, said he had received hundreds of complaints from American tourists about excessive noise.

He asserted that loud music is causing “tremendous damage” to Mazatlán, but many locals pointed out that banda has been played in the city — and on its beaches — for generations. They also noted that the genre is an important part of local culture.

The Mazatlán mayor said late last week that local authorities had issued more than 50 permits authorizing bands to play on the beaches, and announced that musicians had agreed to not perform late at night or early in the morning.

The president commented on the controversy at his Monday morning press conference.
The president commented on the controversy at his Monday morning press conference. (Lopezobrador.org.mx)

Asked about the issue on Monday, López Obrador said that “the people are very aware and are defending their rights.”

“They wanted to ban … the bands and the musicians objected,” he said.

“I believe they objected because they live from … [their music] and also because it has been a tradition for a long time — centuries. That’s why they mobilized,” López Obrador said.

The president noted that a group of hoteliers — who banded together in an “anti-noise alliance” — called for live music to be prohibited on Mazatlán’s beaches. “Perhaps” municipal authorities didn’t respond quickly enough to their request to put the issue to bed, he said.

“And it became a very peculiar protest of bands. There was music for three or four days in Mazatlán. That’s the way people are — very aware. What’s not good is violence,” López Obrador said, apparently acknowledging that there were clashes between protesters and police.

“But the bands of Sinaloa or the musicians from the bands of Sinaloa protest have every right to protest,” he said.

Mexico News Daily 

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