Manu Chao is no stranger to political commentary. In fact, it’d probably be safe to say the French born musician is the Latin American equivalent to Springsteen, with a little Joe Strummer mixed in. So, it should come as little surprise that Manu is again in the news for comments recently made about the Mexican government. Per The Observers:
On May 4 of that year, around 2,000 federal and local police occupied San Salvador Atenco, a town northeast of Mexico City, after a group of anti-capitalist demonstrators held 11 officers hostage (a move that came after a protest led by flower-sellers against the construction of a Wal-Mart became violent). According to an investigation by the Comisión Nacional de los Derechos Humanos (the National Human Rights Committee), over 200 people were injured, two killed, and 27 women raped by officers during the intervention.
In a press conference at the Guadalajara International Film Festival last Tuesday, Chao said that “what happened in Atenco was, in some way, state terrorism. [The authorities] are saying don’t say a word when we seize your land, because you better watch out, the same thing will happen to you as happened in Atenco'”.
As it turns out, Chao’s comments, specifically the part about “state terrorism” have gotten him in a bit of hot water, with a report surfacing that the Mexican Interior Ministrey was investigating the musician as to whether he had violated “Article 33” of the Mexican Constitution. You know the part that says “foreigners cannot in any manner interfere in internal political affairs” and the government has “the executive power to force them to leave national territory” immediately and without trial? Yeah, that.
The Mexican Government denies the story, but the fact that Chao didn’t show up for a concert in Mexico last Thursday does add credence to the whole thing.
The lesson learned here? Don’t piss off Mexico.