|There are records of killings and drug-related violence in music festivals in Mexico. / Photo by: Melinda Nagy via 123rf|
Festivals are supposedly a place to enjoy, listen to live music and have fun. People who go to this kind of event are mostly trying to have a break from their life. Unfortunately, festivals are not only for entertainment and enjoyment because for some, it could also be for drugs and violence.
Trópico, a Mexican music festival held in the resort city of Acapulco, regularly has over 7,500 attendees. This three-day event features several bands and musicians in one night. However, issues drug-related violence occurs in Acapulco. In fact, there were already 918 killings in 2016. This record made the place one of the most deadly city for almost five years. Not just that. Issues of homicides increased by 25% in 2017, making it the most violent record.
But the live music scene just keeps on growing in Mexico. A lot of music events are still happening despite the records of killings and homicides. In fact, at least three of Latin America's largest dance festivals are being held in Mexico. Hugo Diaz, an organizer of the Ceremonia festival said, “Everything that we are building is our cultural, musical legacy. We believe our role is to give space so that artists grow.” Festivals are also their way to promote the country in a positive manner.
Unfortunately, incidents of drug-related violence kept on happening. According to the Rolling Stone, five people were killed at the BPM electronic festival in Playa del Carmen which was believed to be related to event drug sales. “We’re also victims of that – of drugs and violence, of threats, approaches from the illegal drug industry, and we also fight against that just like the rest of our country,” Mario Romero, a founder of a festival called Bahidorá said.
These happenings belong to a hard truth that is definitely hard to swallow - Mexican festivals often showcase the parallel realities of a country where the class divide runs deep. Using drugs is part of their system and largely hailed by the middle and upper classes.