Man arrested for allegedly hanging banners threatening Mexican singer Peso Pluma

Tijuana police have arrested the man allegedly responsible for hanging banners with messages threatening the life and safety of musician and singer Peso Pluma.

On Tuesday (12 September), before Pluma (real name Hassan Emilio Kabande Laija) made his MTV VMAs performance debut, one of three menacing banners was seen hanging from a bridge in the border town of Tijuana, Mexico.

A translation of the banner, supposedly signed by the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, read: “This goes to Peso Pluma, refrain from presenting yourself on October 14 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.

Shortly after, “due to unforeseen circumstances”, several of Pluma’s concerts were postponed. However, it is not yet known whether the cancellations were made in direct response to the cartel’s threat.

Pluma did not immediately respond to The Independent’s request for comment.

On Thursday (14 September), local police reportedly arrested the suspect who placed 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 is “due to the terror that was caused on the community, not for what was written in the message”.

Peso Pluma 2023 MTV WMAs (Getty Images for MTV)
Peso Pluma 2023 MTV WMAs (Getty Images for MTV)

Tijuana’s mayor, Caballero Ramírez, announced earlier this week that over the next few days, the security at the city’s concerts would be the same, if not “a bit more”.

He added that it would later be decided “whether the [Peso Pluma] concert goes ahead or not”.

In July, Pluma announced his first stadium shows in Mexico, which includes Tijuana, on 14 October.

The rising global star, 24, is best known for singing traditional Mexican ballads and narcocorridos, a subgenre of contemporary takes on the ballad, 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.

Pluma made MTV VMAs history on Tuesday when he became the first Música Mexicana singer to perform at the awards show. He had also been nominated in the Best Artist category at the 2023 MTV VMAs, but rapper Ice Spice ended up winning the category.

Find the full list of winners here.