In the mid-to-late decade of the 2000s, subcultures in Mexico were often referred to negatively as “urban tribes,” and many were united by considering emos, the newest tribe, as their enemy. The emo subculture that reached its peak in this decade differed from the “original” emo movement of the 1980s and many of its characteristics were seen as having been plagiarized from early subcultures. Glam rock pioneered the androgyny, the dark and frizzled hair owes a lot to new wave and goth, while their music was similar to the pop-punk of the turn of the millennium.
Hatred against emos was widespread in many countries, mainly by other “tribes” such as goths and punks, but in Mexico and its capital city, the animosity was particularly commonplace and strong. The aforementioned androgyny might have been crucial in the reaction towards this group of people, as homophobic slurs and attitudes were often incorporated into anti-emo sentiments. Two years before the “war” in 2008, another well-publicized altercation occurred in the Metro Insurgentes roundabout between emos and punks, which led to police intervention.
The Metro Insurgentes roundabout is one of the main transport hubs near the City’s Zona Rosa (Pink Zone). For decades, it has been a crucial meeting point for countercultural and LGTBQ+ movements. While generally peaceful and tolerant, on March 15, 2008, a large gathering of people belonging to the emo subculture found themselves attacked by a group incorporating members of the city’s punk, neo-rockabilly, and goth tribes (locally known as “darketos”).
The conflict was estimated to have lasted up to five hours, on and off, but its definitive end came about in appropriately absurd fashion. While there was police intervention to prevent any major injuries, the actual end of the confrontation came about when a group of Hare Krishna followers entered the roundabout, inviting both factions to join in with the chanting and dancing. Even if they did not manage to fully incorporate the crowd, their presence did help in calming and dispersing most of the people involved.
Know Before You Go
The Insurgentes roundabout is located on Metro Line 1 (pink) and Metrobús Line 1 (red).