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Playa del Carmen moves to ban EDM festivals

Civic leaders in Playa del Carmen, the Mexican coastal resort home to the BPM Festival, have spoken of their wish that “not one more” dance music event be held in the town following Monday’s deadly shooting.

Speaking at a press conference earlier this week, Cristina Torres Gómez, the mayoress of Solidaridad, of which Playa del Carmen is the municipal seat, said she would “no longer allow these type of events in Solidaridad”, preferring to focus instead on “another type of tourism for our municipality”.

Her position was supported by business leader María Elena Mata Pineda, president of the Business Coordinating Council (Consejo Coordinador Empresarial), who said: “We businessmen approve of this and ask the authorities to create a safe, clean destination for our families where we can live in peace and quiet. We are asking to now allow any more of these events.”

“We will no longer allow these type of events in Solidaridad”

Torres also announced that she had requested local venues to increase security in the aftermath of the attack, while the Solidaridad government would step up the police presence on its municipality’s roads.

Solidaridad’s move to evict its electronic dance music (EDM) events mirrors a similar decision by Buenos Aires in the aftermath of deaths at the Time Warp festival.

The Los Zetas cartel, one of Mexico’s most notorious criminal syndicates, has claimed responsibility for the shooting, which left four people dead. Local media outlet Semanario Playa News posted a picture of a sinister ‘narcoblanket’, signed by the cartel, which appears to take aim at the festival’s Canadian co-founder, Philip Pulitano, and a source quoted by CBC News alleges Pulitano “had the role of coordinating the terms of the festival with the cartel”.

“The organisers, who previously had a decent relationship with the drug cartel, ignored their demands”

The cartel reportedly “increased demands on BPM organisers this year,” reads the report by the Canadian state broadcaster. “But the organisers, who previously had a decent relationship with the drug cartel, ignored those demands, according to the source. ‘They can turn on you in a second,’ the source said.”

Miguel Angel Pech, attorney-general of the state of Quintana Roo, said on Tuesday that drug-related activity was the chief line of investigation for the shooting, with extortion also a possibility. Officials in Quintana Roo are also investigating whether the attack is linked to a shooting less than 24 hours later in Cancun, when gunmen opened fire on the state prosecutor’s office.

In addition to BPM, the EDM ban is also expected to affect Arena, an LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) festival scheduled for the first week of February.


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