Puerto Rico cancels Calle 13 concert after insult
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) -- Puerto Rican officials said Saturday they have canceled a concert featuring Grammy-winning band Calle 13 after the group's lead singer insulted the governor and other Latin American politicians during an MTV awards show.
San Juan Mayor Jorge Santini said he was calling off the Halloween concert only because no contract had been signed for use of the city's Roberto Clemente Coliseum — not because of the comments by singer Rene Perez, known as "Residente."
But his announcement indicated the city did not want the concert, saying, "We are not interested in reaching the contract now or in the future." The city allowed a similar concert by the same promoter last year.
"Mister Perez, 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," Santini said.
During Thursday's MTV show, Perez used an offensive phrase referring to the mother of Gov. Luis Fortuno as he denounced the state's layoff of 17,000 workers.
Perez also wore a black T-shirt with a message that appeared to criticize Colombia's President Alvaro Uribe for a deal to allow U.S. bases in his country — and which could be read to suggest he has paramilitary links.
The Colombian government issued a statement saying it was "indignant" about the "slanderous" message.
Representatives of Calle 13 and of production company Arco Publicidad did not immediately respond to requests for comment. City officials declined to elaborate on details of the concert contract.
Calle 13 won a Grammy for best Latin urban album last year and it has won several Latin Grammy awards.
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