“Things are bad enough with the cops and the drug gangs,” a Tijuana emo fan says while drinking beers with friends at the Nelson Hotel bar on the corner of Primera and Revolución. They are all dressed in jeans and T-shirts and wear no makeup. “I can’t be me; I can’t dress the way I always do.”
“None of us can,” his female companion says. “We’ll get our heads smashed in.”
Emo fans have experienced violence throughout Mexico in March and April, and the threat of continued violence remains.
“Shaggy-haired emo teenagers were harassed…by punks and rockabillys,” reports Wired. “A Mexican newspaper reported that metal heads and gangsters have warned Tijuana’s emo kids to stay away from the town’s fair.”
On March 7, in the city of Querétaro, a mob of nearly 800 teenagers converged into the Plaza de Armas, seeking emo youths to beat up. As the area is a known emo hangout, there were plenty of victims to find.
MTV.com reports that in Tijuana and Juárez, “members of other social cliques (primarily punkeros, cholos, and darketos, or goths)” got into deadly public brawls with the emos. “Emo kids responded by staging silent marches for peace and tolerance in each of the cities, but those demonstrations quickly turned violent as well, and police were forced to step in to keep the peace.”
Anti-emo message boards and groups have popped up on the Internet, threatening further violence in Mexico. Videos documenting the violence are on YouTube and MySpace; they dub themselves the “Movimiento Anti-Emosexual.”
Victor Mendoza, a youth worker in Mexico City, tells Time magazine, “This is not a battle between music styles at all. It is the conservative side of Mexican society fighting against something different.”
Themonitor.com also suggests this is a class struggle: “Most Mexican Emo fans are young, upper-middle-class teens; whereas fans of hard core or punk often come from lower classes.”
Some blame celebrity VJ Kristof, a host on the popular Mexico City TV channel Telehit, who denounced emo fans on air, calling them “prepubescent 15-year-old girls” and labeling their lifestyle and musical choices as “stupid and idiotic.” After the wave of attacks, Kristof claimed his monologue was meant to be a joke, not a call to action, and suggested if people wanted to fight, to go after the reggaetoneros.
— Michael Hemmingson