An upcoming Calle 13 concert scheduled to be held in Puerto Rico's famed Roberto Clemente coliseum has been canceled, apparently as a result of lead singer René Pérez's personal insult of the Republican Governor of Puerto Rico Luis Fortuño while hosting Los Premios MTV last week. Pérez took full advantage of his moment in the spotlight to highlight political issues and causes close to his heart and managed to offend quite a few people along the way.
San Juan Mayor Jorge Santini said he was calling off the Halloween concert for the sole reason that a contract had yet to be signed for use of the coliseum. But implicit in his statement was the fact that even if there were time to sign a contract, the concert would not be held. "We are not interested in reaching the contract now or in the future," affirmed Santini. He also said he did not think Calle 13 would be upset by the cancellation. "Mister Pérez, of Calle 13, will not be bothered by the decision because I don't think he is interested in benefiting economically from an event that was going to be held in a facility administered by government personnel for whom he has no respect," concluded Santini.
During the broadcast, Pérez called for Puerto Rican independence and referred to Governor Fortuño as an "hijo de la gran puta" when talking about the massive layoffs and privatization demanded by the government of the island. Despite telling CNN affiliate WAPA TV, "Everyone has the right to express themselves and we will guarantee that right," Fortuño was enraged by Pérez's insult and responded in kind, telling reporters, "This individual disrespected all Puerto Rican women, all Puerto Rican mothers and the people of Puerto Rico in general."
But Pérez didn't keep his criticism local. He also wore a shirt that read "Uribe Para Bases Militares" in reference to Colombian president Alvaro Uribe's deal with the United States to open new military bases in his country, which prompted his government to issue a statement saying Colombia was "indignant" about the "slanderous" message. Another shirt read "Chavez Nominado Mejor Artista Pop," in reference to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, while yet another protested Roberto Micheletti, the current defacto Honduran president.
We understand why some people may have been offended by Pérez's choice of words, but we must admit, it was kind of refreshing to see a music artist using his platform and visibility to talk to young people about politics and global issues.