The Swarm

March 27, 2008

Mexico's Emo War Escalates: Government calls for unity as massive attacks are threatened in Tijuana

TDS Editors

There are brand new developments to the Mexican Emo Witch Hunt story. The national government of Mexico stepped in to try and quell the violent attacks and riots erupting over the past several weeks in cities across the country. But the violence threatens to spread. Excelsior reports (English Google translation):

With support from the Government of the Federal District, different tribes as urban darketos, emos, Gothic, punketos, indies and gays began on Wednesday a campaign against discrimination.

After meeting for more than three hours with government authorities capital members of the various expressions urban went to the roundabout of Insurgentes subway station announced that the campaign will have as its slogan “For the freedom of being young, live and let live.”

Detallaron the plan, which aims to counter the acts of violence and discrimination against these groups in urban areas, will be launched over the Internet and through volanteo.

But according to La Jordana (English Google translation), massive attacks and ambushes against Emos in Tiajuana have been threatened for next month’s city Fair:

With calls on the Internet to mobilize against the emos and direct warnings on the street, these groups of adolescents are under harassment in Tijuana and Aguascalientes, locality, the latter, which feared being attacked during the Feria de San Marcos.

Alejandro Anaya Richter, spokesman for the movement of emos in Aguascalientes, claimed that groups cholos, and metal rockers, have warned that they do not want to see their sad faces at the Fair of San Marcos.

“The threats we make them reach youth who represent those groups, we say they are preparing massive attacks against us, as ambushes, as has already happened in other states,” he said.

In an interview, Richter, a 23-year law student and explained that there is fear among young emos, as in Aguascalientes are two thousand people who identify with this new culture in society and so far, but you can see so strange they are not attacked.

(photo credit)

Yesterday’s story really touched a nerve, and not just on this site. Check out the comments on the original post, and Reddit,, and Current. Similar conversations are happening on message boards in countries as far away as Norway, Germany, New Zealand, and Japan. The reactions really do run the gamut: from true shock and amazement, to sarcasm and racist jokes, to real horror and pain. But the You Tube videos and limited English-language reporting only give the outlines of a much more interesting and complex story that is just beginning to emerge. And one Daily Swarm comment late last night may be particularly prescient:

remember when emo was about listening to sunny day real estate and the gloria record? and cool shit like making shitloads of music with yr pals and pining over chicks and stuff like that? and not a fucking fashionable culture co-opted by those cunts at mtv and fuse and victory records and all this other bullshit? i fucking do. you all should be fighting rupert fucking murdoch and the rest of these assholes that own the goddamn media. they’re the ones to blame for all of this.

He has a point.

As David Hernandez noted earlier, many people in Mexico point to the on-air rant of Televisa television personality Krisoff as the tipping point that incited the violence.

The gravity of this should not be underestimated: The broadcaster, Televisa, is a massive entertainment conglomerate that’s the Mexican equivalent of Viacom and Clear Channel and Live Nation combined. Kristoff’s provocation was not just the equivalent of an MTV VJ stirring kids up, but more like Jay Leno calling for blood. While Kristoff did finally broadcast an anti-violence speech following last week’s incidents, some in Mexico are suggesting that he may take the fall if the government blames the company for stirring up trouble.

Also, Anti-Emo group member Harry24’s lengthy treatise on the anti-Emo philosophy include this section about music:

Music: there are great music (rock and metal) bands here in Mexico, lot of them are from a wave here in Mexico called “the birth of mexican rock” or something like that, and most of them still active this days, but are ignored because nowadays is something called “the new wave of mexican rock”, which is supported by the media, and 90% of the bands from that wave are totally crap. So guess what??? lot of that bands are emo
Fortunately some of the old bands like Victimas Del Doctor Cerebro or Cuca are calling the new wave “crap”, “shit”, “unoriginal” and things like that, and make fun of emos in their shows, but this is not enough to stop this “emo-wave”

For all Harry24’s government conspiracy theories, here he’s actually making the same point. In addition to its television stations, Televisa has a near stranglehold on the music business in Mexico: among the company’s holdings are EMI Music, Cablevision, a CD/DVD distributor, radio stations, a merch company, several arenas, concert promoters, and many other layers of the live and recorded music industries. The mainstreaming of “Emo” as a fashion and lifestyle in Mexico has been partially orchestrated and sold primarily by this far reaching culture monopoly. The same one, ironically, that may have pushed the heated situation to a boil.

This story is still developing. Rumors about the violence spreading to other Latin American countries have been circulating on the Internet, while the situation in Mexico remains tense. The Daily Swarm will have a follow-up report from Mexico early next week.

UPDATE: Mexican Emo War spreads to the border: Incidents in Juarez and Tijuana

UPDATE: Mexico’s ‘Los Darkys’ aka Goths deny involvement in anti-Emo attacks: ‘We are obscure, but not violent’

ALSO: Emo attacks in Chile too…

ALSO: Goth killing in England echoes Mexican Emo violence…

ALSO: Flashback: U.K. Roots of the Emo War

Daniel Hernandez has been covering this extensively here, here, and here.

Click Here