Mexican President Defends Yahritza y Su Esencia Amid Backlash Over Comments About Mexico

Following the criticism that Yahritza y Su Esencia received weeks ago for comments about Mexican food, for which the Mexican-American group has already apologized, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador advocated for the sibling trio on Thursday (Aug. 31), and said that he would agree that they be invited to join Grupo Frontera on Sept. 15 at the Zócalo in Mexico City.

“Yahritza and her brothers have a musical group. They were born there, in Washington, their parents are Mexican, I think from Chiapas, and they did an interview where they said they ‘don’t like Mexican food,’ [or] something like that,” the president said in his morning press conference. “It was very bad for them, but they did not do it in bad faith. It is that they were born over there, they did not want to offend.”

The parents of the trio, José Francisco and Rosa Martínez, are originally from the state of Michoacán, in western Mexico.


Earlier this month, the members of Yahritza y Su Esencia apologized in a video posted on their TikTok, after receiving severe criticism from Mexican fans for their comments.

Specifically, Yahritza jokingly said that she didn’t like hearing “the cars and police sirens and everything” when she woke up in the city, while Jairo and Mando said they didn’t love local food. The statements generated strong criticism from a sector of Internet users.

“We want you to know that what motivates us every day to write songs and music is the great pride of having Mexican blood in our veins,” said Yahritza, the band’s vocalist, in her apology. “We are proudly Mexican and we greatly appreciate the love of the public, especially in Mexico.”

Some Mexican media even published that the group’s participation in the Fesitval Arre, which will take place on Sept. 9-10 at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez in Mexico City, had been cancelled. That information has not been confirmed by the promoter Ocesa, and the name of the band is still on the official poster. A rep for the trio told Billboard Español that they are confirmed to perform on Sept. 10.

“We cannot do that, we cannot in any way (cancel their concerts),” López Obrador said during the conference. “I am sure that they will reflect and we have to grant forgiveness. In other words, we always have to forgive if someone is wrong or makes a mistake, but they are also children and there is an explanation. They were born there. Their parents are Mexican, but they already have their life over there.”

When asked if he considered it a good idea that Yahritza y su Esencia joined Grupo Frontera at the Zócalo to perform their hit collaboration “Frágil” — which landed the trio their first No. 1 on Billboard’s Regional Mexican Airplay chart (dated Aug. 12) — the president said he would agree.

The song is even part of López Obrador’s playlist that deal with corridos tumbados, a genre that the president has criticized for containing some songs that advocate drug trafficking.

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