Tonight marks the biggest night of the year for Latin musicians: the annual Latin Grammy awards. While the official broadcast starts on Fusion parent company Univision at 8 p.m. EDT, winners started scooping up awards earlier today.

But given a platform, winners are already addressing the Latino community's two largest-looming current issues: the missing Ayotzinapa students in Mexico, and President Obama's address on executive action.

Poncho Lizarraga, with his group Banda el Recodo, won best banda album, and afterwards, holding his award statuette, spoke on both issues.

"We’re Mexican, and all we want is a country with peace and security for our children and families," he said, on the issue of the missing Ayotzinapa students and the country's continued violence. At the same time, he expressed a wish that his fellow countrymen could seek legal status in the U.S.

"Tonight, there will be an announcement that could favor Latinos or immigrants, to allow them to be able to live and enjoy this country that’s always opened so many doors for us," he said. "But what this award signifies is that I can’t really criticize a country that’s welcomed us and given us so much."


Arielle Castillo is Fusion's culture editor, reporting on arts, music, culture, and subcultures from the streets on up. She's also a connoisseur of weird Florida, weightlifting, and cats.