HomeNewsBriefCity in Mexico Bans Narco Songs
BRIEF

City in Mexico Bans Narco Songs

MEXICO / 16 MAR 2015 BY ARRON DAUGHERTY EN

A ban on music inspired by drug trafficking and organized crime bosses underscores the illicit trade's impact on modern Mexican culture.

The city council in the capital of Mexico's northern Chihuahua state has implemented a ban on performing and distributing a genre of music known as "narcocorridos" within city limits, reported Excelsior

Violators are subject to fines of around $20,000 dollars and up to 36 hours in jail. Chihuahua state's legislature approved a statewide ban on narcocorridos in 2011, but it was never implemented by municipalities. The capital's city council has decided to put the ban into action and stiffen the penalties as they believe narcocorridos promote crime and violence while apologizing for and glorifying organized crime figures, according to Excelsior. 

The council's decision followed a shooting at a narco corrido concert in the nearby city of Parral that reportedly left two dead and one wounded.  

InSight Crime Analysis

The Chihuahua city council's decision is not the first time authorities have attempted to curb the influence of narcocorridos. Other states have enacted similar bans and some radio stations have refused to play the genre. Yet narcocorridos remain popular -- a testament to the drug trade's influence on popular culture. In addition to glorifying crime, narcocorridos are also controversial because they are often directly commissioned by drug bosses.

Alongside narcocorridos, Mexico has seen the rise of organized crime inspired TV series, know locally as "narconovelas," and biographies on top drug capos often enjoy popularity.

SEE ALSO: Mexico News and Profiles

While Chihuahua's city council accused narcocorridos of glorifying criminality, others see them as a natural result of Mexico's ongoing security crisis. "The corridos are attempts by Mexican society to come to terms with the world around them, and drug violence is a big part of that world," the country's former foreign secretary Jorge Castañeda told The New York Times. "You cannot blame narcocorridos for drug violence. Drug violence is to blame for narcocorridos." 

Narcocorridos are a popular genre of music originating in northern Mexico. While the instrumentation and playing style are based on local folk music, the genre's lyrics are often compared to gangster rap in the United States. Famous songs include tributes to drug capos like Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman and Ismael Zambada Garcia, alias "El Mayo," as well as tales of drug smuggling and retaliation against criminal rivals (see below).

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

BELTRAN LEYVA ORG / 1 JUN 2012

A flood of villagers are fleeing their homes in the state of Sinaloa, driven out by a battle between two…

MEXICO / 4 FEB 2016

Less than one percent of crimes are punished in Mexico, according to a new study that highlights the grave structural…

DRUG POLICY / 16 APR 2012

The most concrete outcomes of the Sixth Summit of the Americas were the creation of a new regional anti-crime body,…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Guatemala Social Insecurity Investigation Makes Front Page News

10 DEC 2021

InSight Crime’s latest investigation into a case of corruption within Guatemala's social security agency linked to the deaths of patients with kidney disease made waves in…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela El Dorado Investigation Makes Headlines

3 DEC 2021

InSight Crime's investigation into the trafficking of illegal gold in Venezuela's Amazon region generated impact on both social media and in the press. Besides being republished and mentioned by several…

THE ORGANIZATION

Gender and Investigative Techniques Focus of Workshops

26 NOV 2021

On November 23-24, InSight Crime conducted a workshop called “How to Cover Organized Crime: Investigation Techniques and A Focus on Gender.” The session convened reporters and investigators from a dozen…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Names Two New Board Members

19 NOV 2021

In recent weeks, InSight Crime added two new members to its board. Joy Olson is the former executive director of the Washington Office on Latin America…

THE ORGANIZATION

Senate Commission in Paraguay Cites InSight Crime

12 NOV 2021

InSight Crime’s reporting and investigations often reach the desks of diplomats, security officials and politicians. The latest example occurred in late October during a commission of Paraguay's Senate that tackled…