Mexico: Two more states ban narcocorridos

9 March 2016

The governors of the states of Sinaloa and Coahuila are imposing restrictions on public performances of narcocorridos and movimiento alterado artists, joining the state of Chihuahua, which was the first state in the newest round to ban narcocorridos beginning in 2015. There are now three states in Mexico imposing limitations …

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Mexico: Musicians abducted, one killed

19 November 2015

After midnight of 17 November 2015, the narcocorridos band Los 4 Herederos was attacked in the town of Taray in the state of Jalisco. One of the musicians was killed. An armed commando in three trucks intercepted the band’s pickup truck and violently kidnapped the members of the band as …

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Mexico: Drug ballads banned in Chihuahua

15 August 2013

In July 2013 alone, four musical acts have been fined for violating a law prohibiting the performance of songs in the genre – one which often heralds the exploits of drug cartel members. The latest target of such a fine was Alfredo Ríos, better known as ‘El Komander’, who held …

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Mexico: ‘Narcocorridos’ can be sung again in Sinaloa

19 February 2013

    On 14 February 2013, The Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) in Mexico found that Sinaloa’s governor, Mario Lopez Valdez, had exceeded his powers when he created a legislation which banned public performances of ‘narcocorridos’, drug ballads. The court reversed the decision of the state government …

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Mexico: Several musicians brutally killed

1 February 2013

  Several of the musicians from the Mexican group Kombo Kolombia who have been reported missing since 24 January, have been found dead. It is still uncertain how many band members that have been killed. Kombo Kolombia had been playing a gig in a private bar on Thursday 24 January …

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Mexico: Musician kidnapped and tortured

10 April 2012

  Julio Cesar Leyva Beltran, a singer with the Mexican band Los Ciclones del Arroyo, was kidnapped and tortured after refusing to perform a song requested by a group of people at a party, police said according to several news media. 41-year-old Julio Cesar Leyva Beltran was abducted from a …

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Mexico: Popular music group banned in Chihuahua

15 March 2012

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 …

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Mexico: Conductor kidnapped by drug cartel

1 March 2012

  In July 2011, a successful Mexican musician residing in Germany was abducted by gunmen while on holiday in northern Mexico. 36-year-old Rodolfo Cazares is a Mexican pianist and symphony conductor, leader of the Bremerhaven city orchestra in Germany. While visiting his parents in northern Mexico, Rodolfo Cazares was sleeping …

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Mexico: Ban on ‘drug ballads’ in Sinaloa state

23 May 2011

  The congress of Sinaloa, one of Mexico’s 31 states, has banned the performance, interpretation and reproduction of narcocorridos — songs that glorify the drug trade and trafficking — in restaurants, nightclubs and bars This was reported by La Jornada correspondent Javier Valdez Cardenas on 18 May 2011 and by …

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Mexico: ‘Drug ballad’ singer El Sapo killed in Juarez

9 May 2011

The lead singer of a narcocorridos band, 27-year-old El Sapo (real name: Francisco Dominguez Herrera) was executed by gunmen on a parking lot on 6 May 2011. Narcocorridos are ‘drug ballads’ that glorify the drug trade and trafficking. A Juárez official said police responded to a shooting around 8 PM …

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Mexico: Ban on ‘drug ballads’ in Chihuahua state

4 May 2011

  On 3 May 2011 the congress of Chihuahua, one of Mexico’s 31 states, banned the broadcasting of ‘narcocorridos’ genre of music, songs about drug dealings and cartels, in radio and tv The bill was introduced on 12 April 2011 by Congressman Ricardo Alan Boone and was approved on 3 …

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Mexico: Bomb attack on singer El Coyote and his band

23 March 2011

During a concert on 20 March 2011 by grupera singer El Coyote (real name: Jose Angel Ledezma) and his band Tierra Santa in the western state of Nayarit, someone in the audience hurled an explosive device on stage that wounded three musicians. The injured tuba player and two trompet players, …

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Mexico: Gun attack on American-Mexican ‘drug ballad’ singer

22 March 2011

  20-year-old ‘narcocorridos’ (‘drug ballad’) singer Gerardo Ortiz escaped unharmed when gunmen fired on his offroad minivan in the western state of Colima, but his driver and business agent were killed, and a woman travelling in the vehicle was wounded. Gerardo Ortiz and his party were traveling on the outskirts …

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Mexico: ‘Drug ballad’ singer Sergio Vega killed by gunmen

28 June 2010

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 …

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Mexico: Legislators propose nation-wide ban on ‘drug ballads’

1 February 2010

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 …

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Mexico: Eight musicians arrested

6 January 2010

Ramon Ayala and Lupe Tijerina, two of the most famous accordionists in Northern Mexico, were arrested together with six other musicians on 11 December 2009 The musicians were arrested during a police raid on a party in Cuernavaca, Mexico, which was apparently sponsored by a member of the Beltran Leyva …

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Mexico: Emo fans under attack

2 April 2008

“Kill the emos,” shouted assailants in Mexico’s central city of Queretaro who had organised an attack on a trio of skinny long-haired teenage fans of the rock music style called emo, reported AFP. After police eventually steamed in and made arrests, the bloody victims lay sobbing on the concrete waiting …

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Mexico: Folk musician murdered

26 February 2008

The Mexican folk musician Jesús Rey David Alfaro Pulido and his manager and assistant have been brutally murdered in Tijuana, close to the US border. They now add to the mounting list of murdered musicians and producers who have sung the controversial ‘narco-corridos’. By Martin Buch Larsen, Freemuse The body …

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Mexico: Trumpet player brutally murdered

19 December 2007

Mexican trumpet player José Luis Aquina’s body was found in a river in southern Mexico. Thereby the number of murdered musicians in Mexico during the past year and a half has increased to 13. By Martin Buch Larsen, Freemuse According to the Latin newswire La prensa Latina, the police found …

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Mexico: Murders of Mexican musicians

5 December 2007

Violent assaults on popular Mexican figures – which includes musicians – increase as battles for drug dealing territories and drug routes intensify in the country. By Martin Buch Larsen, Freemuse Sergio Gomez, 35, the lead singer of the Mexican band K-Paz de la Sierra is the latest musician to be killed …

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Mexico: Musician killed for his drug related lyrics

14 December 2006

 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 …

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Mexico’s forbidden songs

5 October 2004

Can a musical genre be considered so dangerous as to be banned from the radio? Yes, according to the authorities in some parts of Mexico who have forced radio stations to take action in an attempt to stamp out the culture of “narco corridos”, which they accuse of glamorising drug …

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Mexico: Country profile

25 February 2002

Music censorship and restrictions in Mexico Excerpt from A Survey Of Censorship And Restrictions On Music In Spanish America by Jens Lohmann       Lupillo Rivera   Introduction (excerpt) Through a most often violent history, free expression has been one of the most important victims of repression in the …

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1700-1899 Latin America, Caribbean

1 January 2001

1700s til today. Mexico. Son jarocho The Catholic Church banned son jarocho – one of Mexico’s most politically charged musical genres – during the 18th century on the grounds it was immoral, and first the Spanish, then the Mexican authorities tried to isolate and suppress the genre. The most famous …

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1960s Latin America, Caribbean

1 January 2001

1960s. Brazil. Chico Buarque, Gilberto Gil and Caetano Veloso The Brazilian military coup of 1964 ushered in 20 years of military rule and, with it, strict censorship of broadcast music – and especially of Musica Popular Brasileira. Numerous musicians during that period spent time in exile, including Chico Buarque, Gilberto …

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