Legislators propose nation-wide ban on ‘drug ballads’
A bill presented to Mexico’s congress in the last week of January 2010 by the ruling National Action Party (PAN) proposes that musicians could be sent to prison in up to three years for playing songs that glorify the drug trade and trafficking – the socalled ‘narcocorrido songs’.
National Action Party lawmaker Oscar Martin Arce said the proposal’s intention is not to limit free expression, but to stop such performances from inciting crimes.
On his website, Elijah Wald has posted descriptions of dozens of past efforts to stop the songs, including radio broadcast bans and politicians’ proposals.
Stephen Marche wrote in the Canadian newspaper National Post: “The Mexican war on drugs is about to claim another casualty: music.”
The proposed law would bring prison sentences of up to three years for people who perform or produce songs or movies glamorizing criminals. It is not clear when the proposed legislation is going to be voted on.
“Society sees drug ballads as nice, pleasant, inconsequential and harmless, but they are the opposite,” National Action Party lawmaker Oscar Martin Arce told The Associated Press.
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