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Puerto Vallarta News NetworkNews Around the Republic of Mexico 

Latino Musicians Rock Out at US-Mexico Border Concert

October 18, 2016

Alejandro Sanz took the stage with his band at 'Riseup As One,' a bi-lingual live music event held at the Cross Border Xpress in Otay Mesa, California on October 15. (Alejandro Tamayo, San Diego Union-Tribune)

During last Saturday's U.S.-Mexico border concert, just feet away from the border fence in Otay Mesa, California, an all-star cast of performers called for Hispanics to become politically active and celebrate their cultural diversity.

The lineup included Alejando Sanz, Colombians Carlos Vives and Juanes, Mexico's Natalia Lafourcade, Mexican-Americans Lila Downs and duo Jesse & Joy, Tijuana-raised Julieta Venegas, San Diegan Andra Day, Mexican-American singer Lupillo Rivera, the famed Norteño band, Los Tigres del Norte and Puerto Rican rapper Residente.

Despite their different musical rhythms, all of the musicians had the same message: It's time for the Latino vote on the national level.

"On November 8, you have a very important appointment, one in which you will decide whether you want progress and dignity or whether you want regression and chaos," Panama-born singer Miguel Bose told the crowd. "This is your vote, and this is your voice."

"It's a time to be more united than ever... of creating bridges, not walls," Joy Huerta, who sang her bilingual song "Echoes of Love" on stage with her brother Jesse. "Let it be heard to the White House, let it be heard in Mexico."

While many of the artists have openly spoken out against Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump in the past, they seemed to avoid mentioning him by name during the border concert. The timing of the event - three weeks before the U.S. presidential elections - was not a coincidence.

"We were just tired of the divisive rhetoric, how everybody's saying mean things about other people, how this fear and xenophobia and bad messages were just getting traction," said Kevin Mills, Univision's vice president of strategy and news, told the San Diego Union-Tribune during a pre-concert interview. "One thing led to another and 20 minutes later we said, 'We should do a concert on the border.'"

They leaped into action, setting the concert date for October 15. "We really wanted to do it before the elections," Mills said. "We felt that this was a great platform to get people motivated to exercise the vote."

Though some 15,000 people gathered for the outdoor concert, called "RiseUp As One," the message reached a far broader audience, as the concert was broadcast live nationally and streamed worldwide by the event's hosts, the Spanish-language television network Univision, and Fusion Media Group, a cable channel and digital platform aimed at English-speaking millennials.

Sources: Fox News LatinoSan Diego Union Tribune