Mexico: Musician killed for his drug related lyrics

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Mexico:
Musician killed for his drug related lyrics 

Mexican singer Valentin Elizalde was murdered on 25 November 2006 after a concert in the Mexican border town of Reynosa. His death is said to be related to his lyrics about Los Zetas, a mercenary force employed by Mexican drug cartels

The 27-year-old Mexican singer was leaving an open-air festival in Reynosa when bullets were fired at his van, killing him, his manager Mario Mendoza and driver Raymundo Ballesteros, just 20 minutes after he had performed at a local fair.

According to media reports, two vehicles chased Valentin Elizalde’s black 2007 Chevrolet Suburban as he left the concert. They opened fire with automatic weapons as dozens of witnesses looked on. As many as 70 bullet cartridges were found scattered on the street around Valentin Elizalde’s car. According to Los Angeles Times, Valentin Elizalde was hit as many as eight times. Others say 28 times.

Narcocorrido songs
Valentin Elizalde wrote lyrics honoring one of Mexico’s most notorious drug lords, Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman, who is the leader of the Sinaloa cartel. In 2005, Elizalde sang one of his narcocorridos – ballads honoring the exploits of drug dealers – to a crowd of more than 3,000 convicts at the Puente Grande prison in the central state of Jalisco. Guzman escaped from a neighboring prison in 2001 and remains at large. His Sinaloa cartel is battling the Gulf cartel and other criminal groups for control of key smuggling points across the U.S.-Mexico border.

In a 2005 Spanish-language interview with the Associated Press, Valentin Elizalde defended narcocorrido songs:
“In no way do I think they should be banned, because they are part of popular expression, what the people sing and what they want. All we do is sing them, like minstrels.”

More than 2,000 people have been killed in the continuing war among competing cartels and the police over Mexico’s lucrative trade in illicit drugs, according to media reports.

Popular Norteño singer
Valentin Elizalde’s death is being mourned by thousands of fans. Just a few weeks before his death, he had received the ‘soloist of the year’ prize at Los Premios de la Radio Awards for regional Mexican music, held at the Gibson Amphitheatre in Hollywood, USA.

Valentin Elizalde, nicknamed “El Gallo de Oro” (The Golden Rooster), was best known for an accordion-based style of music which is known as Norteño, Banda or Grupero. He often toured in the United States and recorded several albums for Universal Music. His biggest hits included ‘Vete Ya’, ‘Ebrio de Amor’ and ‘Soy Asi’.

 



Valentín Elizalde (1979–2006)

Sources

Los Angeles Times – 25 November 2006:
‘Mexican pop singer gunned down’

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

‘Valentin Elizalde’

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