Anti-Emo Brutality In Mexico: It May Get Worse

Mar 27th, 2008 // 25 Comments

With more rioting and violence against “emos” expected at the upcoming City Fair in Tijuana, Mexico, the Mexican government is assisting in an ad campaign designed to curb the attacks, which began earlier this month. While it’s being argued that the resentment toward this particular strain of youth culture is due to its corporate promotion and increasing media omnipresence, it’s clear that the same homophobia that drove backlashes against disco and new wave is playing a large part. Why else would the abuse be aimed at the kids who enjoy the music, rather than the companies that hawk it? A brief timeline after the cut.

From Daniel Hernandez’s blog, Intersections, which has extensively covered the incidents:

The spark came first in Queretaro on March 7. An estimated 800 young people poured into the city’s Centro Historico hunting for emos to beat the crap out of. They found some. The next weekend it spread to Mexico City, where emos faced off against punks and rockabillies at the Glorieta de Insurgents, the epicenter of emo social space in the capital. There’s also been reports of anti-emo violence in Durango, Colima, and elsewhere…

From another post by Hernandez:

In Queretaro on March 15, a week after the first anti-emo incident nationally, emos and others staged a silent march for peace and tolerance through Queretaro’s centro. [On March 19th], emos and their supporters in Mexico City demonstrated in front of the headquarters of the municipal justice department. The action was organized by a Mexico City gay-rights organization, highlighting the contention of some that the anti-emo movement is homophobic, among other undercurrents. After the rally the emos marched to the metro under police protection and returned to their unofficial base, the Glorieta de Insurgentes, chanting “Emos! Emos! Emos!” On Tuesday, emos here met with representatives of the D.F. municipal government.

It’s hard to believe that people may actually need to see the slogan “For the freedom of being young, live and let live” in 2008, but it looks like some can’t help but blame the kid with the funny haircut for a perceived loss of national identity.

The Emos In Mexico Are Fighting Back [Intersections]
Mexico’s Emo War Escalates: Government calls for unity as massive attacks are threatened in Tijuana [The Daily Swarm]
Emo Se Defendien [YouTube]


  1. Tenno

    You know, I make fun of certain styles, but Mexico is really taking this another step forwards aren’t they?

    Though I understand the loss of national identity I guess. Those emos need to start sporting cowboy hats!

  2. Hiphopopotamus

    Matt Lillard… cultural prophet. Who knew?

  3. sicksteanein

    I find it ironic that these kids are standing up for a look that they will be embarrassed to acknowledge in 5 years.

  4. Camp Tiger Claw

    Let’s put up a fence to keep out emo kids.

    McCain/Camp Tiger Claw ’08

  5. mackro

    This is quite a sad and fascinating story. I don’t think people realize how HUGE, say, “goth” or — for lack of a better term — dramatic pop is in Mexico and further South — especially Mexico. The drama abstract is all over the music spectrum there, and beyond music.

    Emo jokes are usually funny, but this story is really depressing, and — sorry guys — they’re a bit uncalled for in this context.

  6. mackro

    [Note to Idolator: preview checkbox is killing comments on page]

    Emo jokes are kinda shitty in this context, guys. Sorry. They’re funny otherwise, but this story is really fucking depressing/disturbing. I mean, substitute any other fashion-oriented subgenre of music — choose your favorite, there probably is a fashion — and imagine having your country do shit like this to you. Fucked up. Especially for a country where drama is the DOMINANT abstract across not just the music spectrum but in the country’s culture.

    It’s a fascinating story and there should be a lot more coverage on it.

  7. mackro

    [OK, preview comment checkbox is really fucking up my comments, Idolator peeps. I posted a whole new comment, and it posted my first draft instead. Hint to gawker techies]

  8. Hiphopopotamus

    Nope! Still funny!

    Even in the saddest of circumstances it is ok to take a step back and realize that every single person involved in this conflict is totally retarded; be it the emos who can totally avoid beatings by opting to not wear eyeliner on a particular night but choose not to, to the metal heads who are so bored they need to beat up the emos, to the TV personalities who have taken the time to take a serious in-depth stance on the entire ridiculous scene.

    PS – Sad And Fascinating will totally be McCain’s new campaign slogan.

  9. SuperUnison

    I am going to be so pumped when they next wave to come to the US buys car horns that play the opening riff to “Sugar We’re Going Down” instead of that fucking hat dance song. You can give cultural hegemony a swirly, but it’s gonna wipe you out either way.

  10. Anonymous

    Emo is nothing more than a fashion trend promoted by corporations so that they can make money off of teens. Any teen that falls for it and thinks that it makes them an individual to look ‘emo’ deserves some sort of punishment.

  11. mackro


    bcz all of us on this thread did nothing stupid as teens of today lol!

    I wish I could be shocked at all your posts, guys, but web 2.0 strikes again.

  12. Handsome Pete

    Who could have predicted Christie Front Drive would be the soundtrack to such violence?

  13. mackro

    Now that’s funny!


  14. SuperUnison

    @Handsome Pete: I think the formula would be closer to “Lifetime+Mall Metal+High School Lit -Actual Literacy, Soul, or Aggression.” Either way, “Seven Day Candle” still gives me chills to this day so we still win while the foreigns beat eachother up for Gerard Way’s sins.

  15. The Mozfather

    @Hiphopopotamus: “be it the emos who can totally avoid beatings by opting to not wear eyeliner on a particular night but choose not to.”

    I hope you realize that this is a pretty fucked-up thing to say – along the lines of “well she was dressed slutty, so she deserved it…”

  16. BlindKarma

    This along with the Tejano singers being assassignated/ having their music played in the back ground or snuff films by the cartels tells me one thing… stay the hell out of the mexican music scene

  17. Hiphopopotamus

    @The Mozfather: If there’s been weeks of news about a gang of metalheads going out and assaulting every slutty dressed girl they see at a concert, well, I for one would probably just wear some sensible jeans that night if I were going to a show. Unless of course I was so insecure that my clothing was the only possible way to express myself…

  18. Anonymous

    Human rights aside, I’m cheering for the punks.

  19. Handsome Pete

    @SuperUnison: Background cannot be blamed for the misguided youth of Mexico and American malls.

  20. Anonymous

    I was a goth/new waver during the 80′s and I can safely say that it wasn’t socially acceptable or corporate driven. Emo was corporate created. It has nothing to do with the bands that were called emo in the 80′s.

  21. Lucas Jensen

    @crescentia: Nobody called bands emo in the 80s. Like, ten people actually owned Rites of Spring records, and Fugazi is NOT an emo band for the 1000th time.

  22. GhostOfDuane

    “Corporate created?” What does that even mean?

  23. GhostOfDuane

    Did Wal-Mart build a Chris Carrabba robot to take over the world and sell eyeliner for them?

  24. Raul23

    @Hiphopopotamus: You keep digging yourself deeper.

  25. Hiphopopotamus

    @Raul23: I’m well aware this thread is long since ignored, but I am gonna respond anyways… There’s a difference between being at fault and knowingly putting yourself at risk. These kids are obviously doing the latter. This isn’t claiming the slutty dressed girl got what was coming to her… this is two rival groups fighting each other and not acting surprised that someone got beat up when they put on their uniform.

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