Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador defended Yahritza y Su Esencia amid backlash for 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 president sided with the group when asked about their upcoming performance in Mexico City.
“We always have to forgive if someone makes a mistake and they are also children…” López Obrador said. “…if they already apologized and did not act in bad faith, we cannot deny them.”
The regional Mexican band, known for their corridos tumbados, is set to perform at the Zócalo in Mexico City alongside Grupo Frontera for Mexican Independence Day celebrations on Sept. 15.
“Imagine canceling the participation of an artist, of a girl, because she made a mistake, poor thing,” López Obrador said.
In January, during an interview with Soy Grupero, the band composed of three siblings were asked about their experience in Mexico City. Lead singer Yahritza Martinez, 16, said she disliked the sound of traffic and police sirens in Mexico City because they woke her up. Her brothers Armando Martinez, 25, and Jairo Martinez, 18, mentioned their dislike of the food in Mexico City compared to the food back in their home state of Washington.
Earlier this month, 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 their comments disrespectful.
“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.
“The whole thing was heartbreaking for us, and for our parents to see all that,” Yahritza told The Times.
“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.”
During the news conference, López Obrador played the music video for “Fragíl,” Grupo Frontera’s collaboration with Yahritza that rose to No. 1 on the Billboard Latin Airplay chart.
Yahritza y Su Esencia are currently on the Mexico leg of their tour, and will tour through the U.S. after their Oct. 7 concert in Tijuana.