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

HUMAN RIGHTS / 19 JAN 2016

Another group of youths in Mexico have gone missing, leading to the arrest of a police chief and six other…

MEXICO / 23 DEC 2013

The command structure of the brutal Zetas gang appears to have suffered existential blows under President Enrique Peña Nieto, according…

MEXICO / 12 FEB 2014

A meeting between a senior government official and a leading member of Mexico's self-defense militias in Michoacan has put both…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela’s Tren de Aragua Becomes Truly Transnational

29 JUL 2022

This week, InSight Crime published a deep dive into the total control that Venezuelan mega-gang, Tren de Aragua, has over the lives of those it smuggles between Venezuela and Chile…

THE ORGANIZATION

Turkish Traffickers Delivering Latin American Cocaine to Persian Gulf

15 JUL 2022

Last week, InSight Crime published the second half of an investigation piecing together the emerging role of Turkish cocaine traffickers in supplying Russia and the Persian Gulf, which are among…

THE ORGANIZATION

Turkey as a Lynchpin in European Cocaine Pipeline

8 JUL 2022

InSight Crime is extending its investigation into the cocaine pipeline to Europe, and tracking the growing connections between Latin American drug traffickers and European criminal organizations. This led us to…

THE ORGANIZATION

Memo Fantasma Coverage Gets Worldwide Attention

1 JUL 2022

Guillermo Acevedo, the former Colombian drug lord and paramilitary commander better known as Memo Fantasma, may soon be allowed to leave prison. Since first revealing the identity of Memo Fantasma…

THE ORGANIZATION

Who Are Memo Fantasma and Sergio Roberto de Carvalho?

24 JUN 2022

Inside the criminal career of Memo Fantasma  In March 2020, InSight Crime revealed the identity and whereabouts of Memo Fantasma, a paramilitary commander and drug trafficker living in…