Mexican band Maná urges Latinos to vote in U.S. election

September 14, 2016 12:42 PM EDT

Members of Mexican rock band Mana (L-R) Sergio Vallin, Juan Calleros, Alex Gonzalez and Fher Olvera pose by their star after it was unveiled on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles, California, February 10, 2016. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

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(Reuters) - Members of Maná, the Spanish-language pop band, are embarking on what they hope will be their most influential series of performances - the U.S. "Latino Power Tour" - seeking to encourage Latinos to use their power at the polls in the Nov. 8 presidential election.

"We are so proud, on one hand 'Latino Power Tour,' it's a celebration, but we're also suggesting for Latinos to use their power with their vote. They can change history in this country," said vocalist Fher Olvera.

The tour opened in San Diego on Sept. 9 and is scheduled to end in Los Angeles on Nov. 13. The band, sometimes referred to as "the U2 of Spanish rock," will perform in 18 major arenas across the United States.

The band from Guadalajara, Mexico, has always been vocal about denouncing violence and corruption in its home country. Now, in the wake of some unfavorable comments about Mexicans by Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump - who has also threatened to expel millions of Mexicans - Maná feels its influence can make a difference in the United States as well.

"Latinos can move the scale of history in the United States, they can rewrite history and I believe they deserve a lot more than what has been given to them, and they have the power," Olvera said in an interview.

For the "Latino Power Tour," Maná will perform a career-spanning set including greatest hits and songs from its ninth studio album, "Cama Incendiada" (Bed on Fire). It has also partnered with organizations including Voto Latino and local advocates to provide both inspiration and information Latinos might need to make their voices heard in the upcoming election.

"More than anything, it's a huge celebration of the Latino community," said drummer Alex Gonzalez. "You know, the Latino community has given so much and has worked so hard here in the United States, developed the country, especially economically. On the other hand also, this tour is to emphasize Latinos to go out and vote."

Maná has earned four Grammy Awards, eight Latin Grammy Awards and sold more than 40 million albums.

(Reporting by Reuters TV; Writing by Melissa Fares; Editing by Matthew Lewis)

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