Band musicians protest in Mazatlán; clash with police

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On Rafael Buelna Avenue in Mazatlán, Sinaloa, clarinets, trombones, tubas, and the tambora sounded. Dozens of musicians carrying these instruments protested against measures seeking to silence band music on the port’s beaches.

This is a demonstration that arose from discontent with gentrification, which ended up being repressed by the Municipal Police, who, through tugging and hitting, tried to silence the instruments.

The bands did not stop playing despite the repression, which was being observed by hundreds of tourists who have come to this destination to spend Holy Week.

The police tugged, and the musicians responded by raising the decibels and drumsticks to hit the elements on the helmets, forced to listen to “El Toro Mambo” and “El Pato Asado,” two traditional pieces of the Wind Band. This is part of a movement that began with the discontent of real estate and hotel entrepreneurs, who have made Mazatlán a place with 600 towers built over a period of almost 8 years, with thousands of homes built solely for vacation rentals.

Hotel and apartment tower owners like Ernesto Coppel Kelly, Amado Guzmán, Rodolfo Madero, and José Antonio Toledo Ortiz have promoted an initiative called the “anti-noise wave,” ensuring that its only goal is to reduce the auditory pollution of Mazatlán’s beaches, where the apartment towers and hotels are erected so that the tourists who visit them can be at peace.

The Municipality of Mazatlán opted to seek regulation, first by imposing a schedule for musical groups to work. The musicians did not see the measure negatively; they understood it.

“On one hand, I think it’s good that schedules are set, for example, if you’re playing on the side of the beach at three in the morning, even one understands that it’s annoying for tourists, but what I don’t agree with is that Mazatlán is the land of the bands,” said Miguel Rubio, leader of one of the bands that set up on the beaches of Mazatlán.

However, the situation worsened after the Municipality only authorized permits for 15 chirrines and 12 Sinaloan bands to operate on all the beaches of the port.

The musicians have explained a certain fact: Mazatlán, a city with more than 400,000 inhabitants, lives off tourism and services, which is practically 76 percent of the local Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and among those services is music.

The musicians are hired by tourists; they don’t just play their instruments for pleasure, but as a way of life and survival.

“From there, we get the daily sustenance for our families,” said Samuel Ramírez, a member of the Nuevo Imperio band.

This demonstration is just the beginning of a movement that has already announced a massive demonstration for April 8, the day of the Solar Eclipse, which will be seen in its entirety in Mazatlán, where reservations are already sold out, and tourists are asking if they will be able to camp on the beach.

Source: Reforma