Mexico: ‘Drug ballad’ singer Sergio Vega killed by gunmen
Joining a recent string of murdered musicians, some of them famous for crooning so-called ‘narco ballads’ – ‘narcocorridos’ – about the drug cartel lifestyle, the 40-year-old singer Sergio Vega was killed on 26 June 2010.
Unknown assailants intercepted Sergio Vega’s red Cadillac near Los Mochis in Sinaloa state — a northern state that has produced many of Mexico’s most notorious drug kingpins. The gunmen riddled the car with more than 30 bullets, and the singer Sergio Vega was shot dead.
According to an article published by Associated Press on 28 June 2010 there were no arrests, and police have not identified any suspects or a possible motive.
At least seven musicians have been killed northern Mexico in the recent years, according to the BBC.
About the singer Sergio Vega was a singer of ‘narcocorridos’ — a subgenre that updates the folkloric ‘corrido’ tradition of ballads about revolutionary heroes to tell the story of, and sometimes glorify, drug traffickers.
Born in Ciudad Obregon, Sonora state, Sergio Vega moved to Phoenix in the US in the 1980s. He began to sing with his brothers in a group that came to be known as Los Hermanos Vega, and later, Los Shakas del Norte. The band returned to Mexico in 1994. He took a break from music between 2001 and 2003 to undergo rehab for alcohol and drug addiction.
Connected with the crime world Elijah Wald, author of the book ‘Narcocorrido’, told Associated Press that such singers often get caught up in the violent world they sing about.
“The music world has always been connected with the crime world,” he was quoted as saying. “And it is common for ranchera singers — especially if they sing corridos, as Vega did — to be hired to play parties for people in the drug world, or to be sponsored by drug money when they are starting out.”