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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 March 2007, 11:34 GMT
Guitarist 'is denied entry to US'
Rodrigo Sanchez and Gabriela Quintero
The acoustic guitarists have sold out a concert in London in May
A Mexican guitarist who has become a star on the world music scene has said he has been denied entry to the US.

Rodrigo Sanchez of the group Rodrigo y Gabriela said his application to renew a visa had been refused and they had been forced to cancel part of a tour.

The US State Department refused because Sanchez has a similar name to a man who is banned from the US, he said.

Eight US gigs have been called off so far and Sanchez said it may take up to three months to resolve the situation.

A statement from the duo's record label ATO said Sanchez had been going in and out of the US with no problem during the last nine months before his P-1 Entertainer Visa ran out.

"I feel frustrated because we wanted to play to our fans in the States, we have had a great response from them and from the media too," the guitarist said.

These are internal security measure issues that have to be resolved by Americans themselves
Rodrigo Sanchez
"I have met other musicians from different parts of the world that have, unfortunately, been through the same situation when they were about to start their tour in the States.

"This is nothing to do with being Latin, or Arab, or whatever.

"These are internal security measure issues that have to be resolved by Americans themselves."

Rodrigo y Gabriela's self-titled album has sold more than 100,000 copies in the US since being released last October.

The visa problem has disrupted appearances at the South by Southwest festival in Austin plus gigs in cities including New York, Washington and Nashville.

Sanchez and bandmate Gabriela Quintero are due to play further dates in the US in April and May if the visa is granted.


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