Popular music group banned in Chihuahua
|Authorities in the capital of Mexico’s most violent state, Chihuahua, which lies on the U.S. border, has banned the popular group Los Tigres del Norte from performing in the city after the band sang ballads glorifying drug traffickers during their concerts.
“The musical group will not get permits for future shows in the city limits, until such time as authorities decide otherwise,” the Chihuahua city government said said in a statement. The band violated a three-month-old city ordinance prohibiting songs that glorify drug traffickers, and that the concert’s organisers would be fined “at least 20,000 pesos” – 1,585 US dollars.
During concerts in Chihuahua and the border city of Ciudad Juarez on 10 March 2012, the group had included three of their well-known narcocorridos, ‘drug ballads’ which glorify drug traffickers. Among the songs were ‘La Reyna del Sur’, (‘The Queen of the South’), a song believed to refer to alleged female drug capos like Sandra Avila Beltran, better known as the Queen of the Pacific.
Surprised by the ban
Within the following 24 hours the news of the ban were distributed and published by literally all the major media houses in the world.
Los Tigres del Norte announced on their Twitter account that they were surprised by the ban because they were not aware that drug ballads were prohibited there.
Banning of narcocorridos
The song ‘La Reina del Sur’, The Queen of the South, song sums up a novel on a slain trafficker’s rise through the drug business. It later became a tv soap opera.
Manuel Valenzuela, expert on narcocorridos at the College of the Northern Border in Tijuana, calls the bans ‘censorship’ at a time cultural expressions — movies such as ‘Miss Bala’ and ‘El Infierno’ — draw on strife from the ongoing drug war. He cites self-interest among a nervous business and political class for the ban, rather than public-safety concerns.
In 2009, Los Tigres del Norte cancelled a planned appearance at an awards ceremony after organisers allegedly asked it not to play the song ‘La Granja’ (‘The Farm’). The song’s biting lyrics appear to lampoon former officials and also allude to the violence unleashed in Mexico’s war on drug cartels.
Los Tigres del Norte
The Associated Press – 14 March 2012:
‘Ciudad Juarez bans Los Tigres del Norte band for glorifying drug trade’
AFP – 13 March 2012:
‘Mexico group banned for playing drug songs’
BBC News – 13 March 2012:
‘Mexican band Los Tigres del Norte banned in Chihuahua’
The News Tribune – 12 March 2012:
‘Mexican city bans Tigres del Norte for drug songs’
|Related reading on freemuse.org|