Regional Mexican star Gerardo Ortiz, who began touring in Mexico this year after nearly being killed there three years ago, was not allowed to perform several scheduled shows, according to a spokesperson for the singer.
Published reports indicate that public officials in the northwestern city of Culiacan, where Ortiz grew up, expressed their concerns that the performance could “alter the social environment.”
Some of Ortiz’s music is themed around the drug-trafficking ballads, known as narcocorridos — music that is considered illegal throughout Mexico. Reports indicate that Ortiz was also not allowed to perform in Baja California. An Ortiz representative did specify if Ortiz performed narcocorridos while touring in Mexico in recent months.
A statement from an Ortiz spokesperson for both the Los Angeles-based Del Records and the singer’s own label, Bad Sin Entertainment, issued a joint statement to reiterate that the crooner is “very disappointed that he could not perform in his hometown,” according to the statement sent via e-mail to Billboard on July 3. “He’s been looking forward to it throughout the entire Mexican tour.”
Representatives for Ortiz also said that there have been no incidents or violence at any of the concerts since his tour started Feb. 24, which included appearances on various Mexican television programs and major networks.
Ortiz, whose repertoire has included narcocorridos, was touring in Mexico of March 2011 when his manager and driver were fatally wounded in Colima, Mexico, after several men surrounded their vehicle and opened fire. No one was arrested.
The Del Records artist has stayed away from performing in Mexico since the 2011 incident, but this year began touring there with beefed up security detail that accompanied the singer to nearly two-dozen cities.
On July 3, Ortiz said on Twitter: “You know the motives. The desire to be together was never a question … see you soon Culiacan and Durango. Thank you.”
The singer also posted his upcoming U.S. touring schedule starting July 11 in Reno, Nev., followed by Santa Rosa, Calif., on July 12 and then Perris, Calif., on July 13. The last shown date on the poster is July 27 in Glendale, Ariz.
Ortiz was discovered on YouTube a handful of years ago and has become a major name in regional Mexican music with a strong following of young Mexican-American fans. A regular name on the Billboard regional Mexican charts, the singer has also won several Billboard Latin Music Awards.
Born in Pasadena, Calif., but raised in Mexico, Ortiz has focused on writing and performing more romantic ballads in recent years, while simultaneously embracing narco culture in music and his videos.
Reports indicate that ticket holders are eligible for refunds.