A Guatemalan Congresswoman Tried to Ban Reggaeton Between the Hours of 7 AM and 6 PM

Lead Photo: Photo by Jason Koerner/One Voice: Somos Live!/Getty Images
Photo by Jason Koerner/One Voice: Somos Live!/Getty Images
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Over 25 years after its inception, reggaeton continues to be as polemic and divisive as ever. Back in June, the Dominican Republic proposed a ban on a handful of urbano artists, including hits by Puerto Rican traperos Bad Bunny and Bryant Myers. Now the genre is facing scrutiny once again, this time in Guatemala.

Last week, Guatemalan congresswoman Eva Monte called for a ban on reggaeton between the hours of 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. The resolution emerged as part of another legislative debate – a proposal to bar the Swedish black metal band Marduk from entering the country due to the group’s “satanic” and “immoral” lyrics. According to Peruvian newspaper El Comercio, Monte recommended the ban to call attention to the hypocrisy of legislators outlawing a black metal band for its controversial lyrics, but doing nothing about reggaeton.

On Twitter she wrote, “If we’re going to ban this music, let’s start by banning reggaeton. The lyrics of a lot of reggaeton songs also include messages of infidelity and promiscuity. Why have religious groups not rebelled against this? Many parents have allowed reggaeton to be played in their homes and danced to it at educational centers. A group like Marduk shouldn’t scare anyone, if a fear of god already exists in their home. The state is secular.”

On Wednesday, September 26, the Alianza Ciudadana party member put forward a resolution to restrict the music from being played during daytime hours, but only received 21 votes (notably, the country’s Congress did end up banning Marduk from entering the country before their planned October 11 concert). In a statement to representatives, Monte called for the ban due to the genre’s “high sexual content and misogynistic messages that affect children, since they dance to it at school.”

This isn’t the first time the genre has sparked controversy in the country; back in 2013, a fake decree banning the genre from Guatemalan radio and TV made the rounds on social media (A few days after it spread online, congressman Manuel Barquín announced the decree was a hoax).

The conversation on reggaeton’s lyrics and representation of women has sparked debate since the genre’s inception all the way back in the 90s (heads will remember Puerto Rico’s anti-crime initiative Mano Dura Contra el Crimen, which culminated in raids of housing projects and record stores selling reggaeton cassettes). Even earlier this year, J Balvin reignited the conversation when he slammed rappers who glorify violence, and Ivy Queen responded by calling for her fellow artists to stop objectifying women in the genre.

Watch the video of Monte’s statements below via Rapetón:

H/T: El Comercio