Earlier this month (12 September), a menacing banner was hung from a bridge in the border town of Tijuana directed at Pluma.
A translation of the banner read: “This goes to Peso Pluma, refrain from presenting yourself on 14 October because it will be your last show due to your disrespect and loose tongue, you show up and we are going to (break you),” according to The Arizona Republic. It was signed by the Jalisco New Generation Cartel.
On Wednesday (20 September), a statement was shared by Pluma’s label announcing that the show had been cancelled.
“Our goal is to protect the fans and the team,” a translated version of their post reads, according to Vulture. “For the safety of everyone involved, we will cancel our show in Tijuana. Thank you so much to all our fans for understanding. We love you.”
After the banner was hung up, fans who were planning to see the 24-year-old singer live in Milwaukee, Wisconsin that week were notified that the show had been postponed “due to unforeseen circumstances”.
His two additional dates that week in Illinois and Indianapolis were also postponed. It is unknown whether those cancellations were in direct response to the cartel’s threats.
Pluma – real name Hassan Emilio Kabande Laija – did not immediately respond to The Independent’s request for comment.
Days after the threats were made, local police reportedly arrested the man allegedly responsible for hanging the banners. The man was arrested and charged with terrorism and possession of an illegal substance, Newsweek Español reported.
According to Tijuana’s regional prosecutor, Edgar Mendoza, the charge was “due to the terror that was caused on the community, not for what was written in the message”.
The city’s mayor, Caballero Ramírez, later announced that security at the city’s concerts would be the same, if not “a bit more”, in the coming days.
In July, Pluma originally announced plans to embark on his first stadium shows in Mexico. These included the Tijuana show.
The rising global star made history this year at the 2023 MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs), becoming the first Música Mexicana singer to perform at the awards show.
He is best known for singing traditional Mexican ballads. Pluma also specialises in a subgenre of contemporary takes on the ballad, known as narcocorridos, whose lyrics recount the exploits of drug traffickers.
Pluma’s songs “El Bélicon” and “Siempre Pendientes” are believed to be dedications to the Jalisco cartel’s main rival, the Sinaloa cartel.
While Pluma has not confirmed these assumptions, he has previously explained that some cartel leaders pay musicians to write narcocorridos in their favour.