MEXICO CITY.- Singer Francisca Viveros Barradas, better known by her stage name of Paquita la del Barrio, is a woman who was ahead of her time, fighting machismo in Mexico for four decades through her music.
The 71-year-old singer arrived on the local music scene to stay, with her ranchero style and witty titles, and her songs have become an icon in the «Duro y contra ellos» (Hard and against men) genre.
Among her most popular songs are «Tres veces te engañe,» «Rata de dos patas,» «Las mujeres mandan,» «Viejo raboverde» and «Hombres malvados,» among others.
Her most popular song, «Rata de dos patas» (Two-Legged Rat), has become an anthem against men that Paquita has ridden from local bars in Mexico City’s Guerrero district to the limelight.
Paquita was 15 when she married a 42-year-old man, with whom she had two children, but after some time she caught him cheating and found out that he had a second family in another town.
The singer discussed her experiences in an interview with EFE ahead of International Women’s Day on March 8, saying that she remembered her teenage years and how even though she was a woman she still did whatever she wanted at a time when feminism was taking its first steps in Mexico.
Reflecting on her life, the singer said that the times were different now.
«The most important thing is for women to study, to learn and to love themselves,» Paquita said.
Paquita said she believed that the changes in the new generations had been damaging.
«Children have too much freedom, and that affects everybody. We have to change a bit and go back to our principles,» the singer said.
Regarding the term «barrio,» which she uses in her artistic name and refers to the poor neighborhoods of Mexican cities, Paquita said that «a barrio is a district or town where one is born, with many houses and where everyone knows and helps each other.»
Paquita la del Barrio will perform in concert on March 24 at the National Auditorium in Mexico City with Sonora Santanera, a tropical music combo.