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Who is killing Mexico's musicians?
Latest page update: made by safariamerica
, Mar 17 2008, 4:39 PM EDT
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Mexican folk singers are being targeted by drug cartels
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|safariamerica||The Day the Music Died Who is killing Mexico's musicians?||3||Mar 9 2008, 9:57 PM EDT by safariamerica|
Thread started: Mar 9 2008, 9:52 PM EDT Watch
By Joe Contreras and Monica Campbell | Newsweek Web Exclusive
Dec 7, 2007
The November 2006 murder of Mexican singer Valentín Elizalde was tragic—but not entirely shocking to his friends and fellow musicians. The 27-year-old recording artist had written lyrics honoring Joaquín (El Chapo) Guzmán, one of Mexico's most notorious druglords, and Elizalde was one of the country's leading practitioners of narcocorridos, ballads that glorify the exploits of drug traffickers. When gunmen in two vehicles shot Elizalde, his manager and driver dead minutes after he finished a concert in the border town of Reynosa last year, many of his fans assumed it was the work of the Zetas, a death squad of ex-soldiers allegedly in the employ of El Chapo Guzmán's rivals in the Gulf of Mexico cartel. But the slayings of two crooners and a trumpet player in the past seven days who never performed a narcocorrido or had any known links to the country's drug kingpins have shaken thousands of professional musicians, many of whom are wondering who might be next. "I'm no detective, but I don't think people singing love ballads are getting killed over a song," says Heraclio García, lead singer of the popular norteña band Los Huracanes del Norte. "It has to go beyond that."
All told, 15 musicians have been killed in the past two years—bringing home a grim reality about Mexico that tycoons, soccer coaches and actresses figured out some time ago: being rich and/or famous south of the border can be seriously hazardous to your health. Firearms have never been more plentiful in Mexico, thanks in large part to their ready availability on the U.S. side of the border. A wave of drug-related violence has fanned the epidemic of lawlessness in recent years, and thousands of homicides routinely go unpunished each year.
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