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Yahritza y Su Esencia booed at the Zócalo during Mexican Independence Day event

A woman singing
Yahritza Martinez sings at a concert in Mexico City on Sept. 10.
(Fernando Llano / Associated Press)
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Yahritza y Su Esencia were booed during a short performance at Mexico City’s Zócalo, an indication that not everyone is over the recent controversy on comments the band made about the country.

The regional Mexican band, which hails from the Yakima Valley in Washington, was invited by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to be a part of the festivities celebrating Mexico’s Independence Day, according to El Universal.

‘What motivates us every day to write songs and music is the great pride of having Mexican blood in our veins.’

Aug. 4, 2023

“We want to thank President Andrés Manuel López Obrador for letting us be here tonight. It is an honor to be here,” said lead singer Yahritza Martinez, 16, before the band began playing its hit song “Frágil.”

Social media videos circulating on Friday show factions of the audience breaking out in jeers, urging them to leave.

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It’s unclear if the set was cut short or if Yahritza y Su Esencia were only slated to perform one song.

In January, during an interview with Soy Grupero, the band composed of three siblings were asked about their experience in Mexico City. Brothers Armando Martinez, 25, and Jairo Martinez, 18, mentioned their dislike of the food in Mexico City compared with the food back in their home state of Washington.

In August, Yahritza also shared sentiments about her experience in Mexico City on the podcast “Agushto Papa,” which triggered a wave of negative comments from Mexicans who found her comments disrespectful.

It’s been a rough month for Yahritza y Su Esencia, whose comments in past interviews about Mexico have resulted in controversy. In a De Los exclusive, the band clears the air.

Aug. 17, 2023

“I just don’t like Mexico,” Yahritza said. “Or, I don’t feel like it’s Mexico, I feel like it’s Mexico City.”

The trio has since apologized for their comments in a now-deleted TikTok video.

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“The whole thing was heartbreaking for us, and for our parents to see all that,” Yahritza told The Times.

Recently, the Yakima Valley has received some attention because of the impressive rise of local band Yahritza y su Esencia.

Aug. 21, 2023

“It’s not our parents’ fault,” Armando said in the same interview with The Times. “My dad always told us that Michoacán is really different from Mexico City. We’re so used to that peaceful life — no traffic, going fishing with your family — but we’re not used to the big-city lifestyle. We weren’t prepared for it, and now, we’re learning from it.”

Earlier this month, López Obrador defended Yahritza y Su Esencia amid backlash for the comments they made about Mexico City and its food.

“They did not do it in bad faith,” López Obrador said during a news conference. “They did not mean to offend … it was an error.”

The Mexican regional trio’s ‘Tiny Desk’ appearance has already racked up more than 76,000 views on YouTube.

Aug. 25, 2023

He urged Mexicans to forgive the members of the band, emphasizing that they are just children and they did not grow up in Mexico.

“Imagine canceling the participation of an artist, of a girl, because she made a mistake,” López Obrador said prior to the performance at the Zócalo.

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