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Colombian pop star Shakira is in talks to perform at the Juarez Competitiva festival in Mexico, officials said.

Juan Ubaldo Benavente, Chihuahua state's subsecretary of economy in the northern `region`, told the El Paso (Texas) Times Shakira will take the stage Oct. 12 if negotiations go well.

"Since we've already set the date apart, it's only a matter of time before we sign the contract," Benavente `said`. "We wanted an artist that had a `social` concern, and she's willing to cooperate in moving this city forward."

"She's the one that seems the most feasible and the most interested," Juarez Competitiva spokeswoman Jezavel Fernandez told the newspaper.

Set to run through Oct. 28, the festival is being organized to help improve Juarez's image in light of rampant gang violence and drug crimes.

JUAREZ, Mexico, Sept. 9 (UPI)

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