On Tuesday, Mexican singer-songwriter Juan Cirerol tweeted about the earthquake in Central Mexico, which has left more than 200 people dead. In a now-deleted tweet, Cicerol wrote, “The DF earthquake should make me said, but it doesn’t ?.” Needless to say, it didn’t sit well with pretty much anyone.
By the time Cirerol posted the tweet, the devastating impact of the earthquake was clear, and relief efforts to rescue victims were well underway. Some places in Morelos and Puebla, which are close to the epicenter of the quake, have been completely destroyed. Dozens of buildings in Mexico City have collapsed, killing and trapping residents.
Collaborators, former tour mates, friends, music industry personnel, and fans soon condemned Cirerol’s words. Someone launched a petition at Change.org that demands Spotify remove his music from the platform, while others urged followers not to amplify the message, and redirect their energy by using social media to mobilize volunteers to rescue sites, collect goods, and find loved ones. Over the course of the past few days, social media has saved lives, as it has enabled volunteers to locate victims trapped in the rubble.
Cirerol issued an apology in a series of now-deleted tweets, but not before defending himself from the criticisms. “We’re in the middle of 2017. This fucking society of savage moralizers; you all are more dangerous than me. If you can’t make me shut up, then kill me, perros,” he wrote. “I don’t need anything from anyone to live; that’s what my guitar tells me. I live like a nomad and you’ll never change me. I’d prefer to die.”
According to El Universal, he later expressed regret for his comments on Twitter. “Even if you don’t believe it, in high-stress situations, I always maintain a sense of humor that seems dark, but it’s only for survival. For that I apologize for my comments, OBVIOUSLY I don’t want anyone to die, I’m an everyday musician and I have little tolerance for stress.” Cirerol has since switched his account to private, and the tweets are not publicly available. It isn’t the first time the folk musician has expressed negative opinions about Mexico City and its people and drawn the ire of fans.
You can support the victims of the earthquake in Mexico by donating to the organizations listed here.