Fed up with persistent violence, officials in the city of Chihuahua in northern Mexico approved a ban last week forbidding musical acts from performing songs with lyrics that degrade women.
Mayor Marco Bonilla of Chihuahua said in an video update last week that the law banned the performance of songs that “promote violence against women” or encourage their discrimination, marginalization or exclusion.
Mr. Bonilla said that those who violate the ban could face fines ranging from 674,000 pesos to 1.2 million pesos, or between about $39,000 and $71,000.
The City Council approved the ban unanimously on Wednesday amid a rise in killings of women across Mexico in recent years, and as Chihuahua, a city of about 940,000 residents, is struggling with its own cases of violence against women. Recently, Mr. Bonilla said, about seven out of 10 calls to 911 in Chihuahua have involved cases of domestic violence, particularly against women.
“Violence against women has reached levels that we could consider like a pandemic,” he said. “We can’t allow this to happen, and we also can’t allow this to be normalized.”
It was unclear from his message who would impose the fines or how the ban on misogynistic lyrics would be enforced. Money raised from the fines will be channeled to a women’s institute in Chihuahua and a confidential women’s shelter, said Blanca Patricia Ulate Bernal, a Chihuahua city councilwoman who proposed the ban.
Ms. Ulate Bernal said in a post on Facebook last week that the law will apply to concerts and events in the city that require a municipal permit. She added that the ban would help ensure that women have the right “to enjoy a life free of violence.”
Mr. Bonilla, Ms. Ulate Bernal and other council members did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The lyrics ban was passed about a month after Mexico’s president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, criticized songs known as corridos tumbados, or trap ballads, whose lyrics glorify drug smugglers and violence.
“We’re never going to censor anyone,” Mr. López Obrador said at a news conference in June. “They can sing what they want, but we’re not going to stay quiet.”
The approval of the ban is not the first time the city of Chihuahua has taken a strong stance against the performance of certain songs. Citing high levels of drug violence, Chihuahua banned the long-running band Los Tigres del Norte in 2012 after a concert during which the group performed three songs known as narcocorridos, which celebrate the exploits of drug traffickers. The city also fined the concert organizers 20,000 pesos, or about $1,600, at the time.
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