Monday, April 13, 2015

'It's Like a Horror Movie': The Grisly Details Behind Mexico's Narcocorrido Murder Epidemic

Borderland Beat posted by DD Republished from BillBoard

"Artists get killed because they played at a party for a [rival] drug dealer; because they looked at a dealer's girlfriend."

On Feb. 27, 20-year-old singer Alfredito Olivas was shot eight times while performing at a nightclub in Parral, Mexico. On March 22, grupero star Javier Rosas was shot multiple times while riding in an SUV in
the northern Mexico state of Sinaloa.
 “ It will spend a lot of time before he treads on a stage again in Mexico ”.

Both singers, known for narcocorridos -- danceable, accordion-driven songs that tell often-celebratory tales about drug dealers -- survived. But Rogelio Brambila Lizarraga, singer of Los Plebes del Arranke, a relatively obscure group whose songs reference the notorious Arellano Felix cartel, wasn't as fortunate. On March 21, the 22-year-old's body was found in a parked car in Tijuana, Mexico, riddled with bullets from two different guns.

 Along with the death of narcocorrido singer Ariel Camacho in a car accident, those incidents -- which took place within the span of four weeks -- have again turned the spotlight on the dangerous lives of regional Mexican singers south of the border. The deaths aren't collateral damage in a country ravaged by drug-related violence: They're an acknowledged risk for performers of the genre.




"It's like a horror movie," says one independent promoter. "Artists get killed because they played at a party for a [rival] drug dealer; because they looked at a dealer's girlfriend; because they get paid to write or record a song about one dealer and a rival gets upset; or because they somehow piss off the dealer who's funding their career."

Indeed, Rosas (who sang songs about the Sinaloa cartel) and Lizarraga are rumored to have been targeted by rival gangs, and Olivas is said to have been flirting with the girlfriend of the man arrested for his shooting.

"When a singer gets shot, it gets bigger headlines than a police chief getting shot," says Elijah Wald, author of Narcocorrido: A Journey into the Music of Drugs, Guns and Guerillas.

"There's different reasons for these killings but there are two factors that haven't changed," adds Alfredo Corchado, Mexico City bureau chief for the Dallas Morning News and author of the book Midnight in Mexico. "Impunity is very high: They kill because they can. And murder is news, which is what killers seek, and it's particularly newsy if you're dealing with a famous singer."


Why would artists take such a risk? Because underworld figures are the biggest benefactors of many regional Mexican musicians' careers.

"Think about it," the promoter continues. "You're a young artist and someone offers you $100,000 to record a song and make it a hit. It goes to No. 1, and suddenly Univision and Telemundo are battling for you."

 The killing spree goes back to the first high-­profile murder of the modern era: singer Chalino Sanchez in 1992. Corridos -- narrative songs telling stories of struggle, heroes and anti-heroes have been an integral part of Mexican culture since the 1800s, and the "narco" variation has been around since the early 1900s. But the genre, which was still underground at the time of Sanchez's death, has grown in popularity along with the country's drug violence.




Since then, at least a dozen big-name acts have been murdered, including Valentin Elizalde in 2006 
Sergio Gomez and in 2007. And in 2013, 17 members of lesser-known band Kombo Kolombia were kidnapped and executed. Following an investigation, the DA of the state of Nuevo Leon said the musicians were ordered killed by their original benefactors, the Mexican cartel Los Zetas, as retaliation for playing shows for rival drug factions.

And while some acts have curtailed their performances or stopped singing narco­corridos (like superstar Gerardo Ortiz,
who has been shot at twice, though he denies any cartel connections), there is little sympathy for those who are seeking notoriety by mythologizing the cartels. "If you're not involved with drug dealers, there's no reason to be afraid," says another promoter, echoing the words of several others who work with regional Mexican acts.

Yet the songs, and the violence, go on. "There's an old saying in Sinaloa: 'I'd rather live five years like a king rather than 50 years like an ox,'" says Corchado. "When I first began covering this 10 years ago, I'd hear that in Sinaloa. Now I hear it all over Mexico. That's our sad ­reality."

66 comments:

  1. What about Sergio vega....probably most talented and most significant killed....thanks dicks :)

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    1. Sorry Sergio vega was not more talented then Valetine elizalde to this day mexican artist give a homenaje to valentine when they visit Sonora & Sinaloa just saying

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    2. El Shaka had the best voice of them all. He was arturo beltrans favorite. I think only chalino is above him in having a good voice.

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    3. The fact is thats theres way to many

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    4. Hell no.. valentin elizalde was way better than vega.. just check his concerts more ashow more fans.. better songs.....
      Vega only had one hit that i coukd remember las cosas del amor..
      valentin would make everybody get out of their chairs

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    5. In barbies interrogation he says how chapo ordered the hit on Sergio due to performing at beltrans fiestas. "Alineando Cabrones" is a bad ass corrido though.

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    6. El shaka's best song "la mentada" o "la mentadita" mas conocida por "vas y chingas a tu madre" also sang by Jenny rivera...
      That song and "a mis enemigos" were beautiful, to die for, and people died for them

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    7. Sergio Gómez was killed north of Morelia for not paying the cuota to CT. He shouldn't be lumped with the rest.

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    8. Did you guys all hear they just killed vincente fernandez!!!!! It was el broly who did it too!!!!!

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    9. not so, fernandez says he was so surprised to read of his death and even more so to read the newspaper had confirmed the death

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    10. Are u kidding me Valentin elizade sounded like he was singing through his asshole....esa mamada

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    11. El Ballso was the best what you pendejos smoking?

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  2. Tito torbillino????

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  3. From sonora
    valetine elizalde, Sergio vega , Alfredo Olivias, Javier rosa, tito

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    1. Valentin Elizalde era de mi lindo guasave

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    2. He was raised in Sonora

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  4. Horror movie? I say more like a comedy or a hollywood happy ending.

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    1. Do you think the same of actors that portray criminals in movies ? How about 2pac ?

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    2. Actors aren't trying to live the narco life and then doing favors and kissing Narco's asses. There's a difference and you know it. You're just in denial because you support this garbage. Old corridos told actual stories but didn't suck the dick of the protagonist. Modern narcocorridos are a whole different animal. Stop being so fucking naive.

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    3. I listen to Rap. I listen to 2pac. But when he got shot...I wasn't surprised and I didn't shed a tear. Play with fire, get burnt. Mexico is such a piece of shit now. I can't believe Mexicans still support this crap.

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    4. The fact is that is a small niche taste for music in the whole music spectrum. Most "Mexicans don't support" what you apparently feel to be crap; just as I; "don't support" the kind of music you describe or dead rapper you describe. Does that make the US a piece of shit?

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    5. No music is a piece of shit. People are a piece of shit! If music drives u to do mad things, then u probably shouldn't be listening to music u vulnerable, desensitized, close-minded, cynical, dumb son a bitch. If you're a smart singer in the music industry u don't bite the hand that feeds u and if your conscious about the narcorridos u sing against rivals, then by logic and common sense(of which there's nothing common) ur bound to bite the dust or eat lead.

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    6. Blah blah blah Narcocorridos aren't bad they are harmless blah blah blah all actors and singers just tell stories blah blah blah. Mexico is a piece of shit because of the people who make it that way. Start defending principles that make your society better instead of defending a bunch of gangster narco wannabes. Jeezus you guys rationalize everything.

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    7. @ 3:08 PM The only principle that needs defending is that of a conscious society that can think and rationalize for itself vs. a brainwashed media-driven one whether it be in the U.S. or Mexico. It's hilarous how u think Mexico and its narcorridos are a piece of shit, yet u had the time, interest, and abomination of fascination to open this site, read this article,and write the most hypocritical comment your dim witted, fried grain of a brain could come up with. You sir should join the circus and put down the crack pipe.

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    8. More inane pseudo-intellectual drivel. I live in the REAL world. You know...the one where an entire country is paralyzed in fear by a culture of narcoterrorism. Take your hippy apologist narco dick riding and shove it up your ass. I click on these articles SPECIFICALLY to talk shit to all you bottom of the barrell narco nuthuggers. I would do it in person but I don't want my entire family tortured massacred and beheaded for expressing my views. You think a crackhead would be so adamantly opposed to narco-culture and the pain it ignores? Genius. Your family must be so proud of you riding narco dick in the name of free speech. Pathetic.

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    9. @ 2:38 Hahaha LMFAO! Laymans terms please sir. Your colorful language is sure to perplex many common folk/narco nuthuggers that read these comments, so there's no use expressing yourself that way panphobic fucktard. If your REAL world is paralyzed by fear, then u should get the hell outta Tijuana and move your lofty rhetoric to the beltway where you can make a fucking difference instead of expressing your condescending ideals to somebody who really doesn't give a shit about what u have to say, except for ur mother maybe. Then again, you're probably a bottom of the barrel 99% dweller still occupying Wallstreet. Go back to sleep.

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    10. You are too funny. You don't care about what I have to say yet here you are like a rabid bitch in heat replying to every single one of my comments. Clearly you care. Clearly I am making a difference since I am not allowing you to come unabated to your narco altar of worship and enjoy these articles without having a mirror put in front of your face. You don't like what you see do you? Deep down inside you realize how pathetic it is that you are defending this. You also could be elsewhere making a difference yet your mouth is so full of narco balls you just can't help yourself. You know this shit is vile...but the Tecate is too cold, and the words coming out of the speakers make your dick hard...so you just keep rationalizing to yourself why it's socially acceptable to exalt serial murderers and rapists. Rest assured I will be here every step of the way to point out the irony. Count on it. And btw...I don't even live in Mexico.lol. Your detective work sucks.

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  5. Se canta para drogista is like playing a game...

    Running across a cuota and kiss the parilla of a KenMex.

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  6. What about tito turbolino?

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  7. Well here is something real sick needs coverage now.......and not much on newspapers or blogs....basically little kids age 10 to 12 being kidnapped for organs . http://www.oem.com.mx/elsoldezamora/notas/n3766312.htm

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  8. You forgot about Saul Viera

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    1. 4:19am
      Saul Viera's death was unrelated to Mex narco wars

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  9. Would you rather live 5 years like a cockroach king rancher, 50 like a dumb ox or 85+ like an honest, repectable man who contributes to society?

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    1. neither ,,that's the problem with society they go for the money rather than what they really want to do and when that happens people in the billions a re easy to control..... we still live in primitive times and as long as we don't work together things will get worst.... my opinion .. 1love~

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  10. Ain't no Willie in Mexico.

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  11. Chalino was actually a hit man and trafficker as well...he was cousin to the Torres de Los Llanos (JT & M1). Good friends with Rigo Campos, El Centenario and many more. Emilio Quintero had Chalo Araujo kill him because Chalino killed some of Quintero's family. Chalo was also good friends with Chalino and was the only one he ever felt bad for killing.

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    1. Whos el centenario? Thats the dude from el corrido de los tucanes no? I was in a fiesta in rancho close to guamuchil and my primo said el centenario was here.

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    2. who killed chalo and why?

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    3. Chalino was known to come up to a small town in Northern Cal. He tried to blast a friends dad for being nosy. From what I have heard, he was the real deal.

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    4. El centenario = aurelio Sanchez quintero

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    5. Chalo killed himself i believe

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    6. Chalino is not cousins with Los Torres. Thats fake. He made a song of jt but that was it.

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    7. 8:10AM
      Chalino was killed not by chalo but by Adalberto Valdemar Escobar Barraza.

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    8. I have done further research and found a tidbit saying Chalino was killed by Chalo's gunmen but not by him personally. Could it be that Barraza was was one of those gunmen?

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  12. SING FOR THE SWORD DIE BY THE SWORD.

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    1. Good one! Or as my dad (RIP) said but it sounded better in spanish or swiss; play with scorpian and you will eventually be stung, or run with the Eagles and you can someday too fly high. My American friend says "sleep with dogs and you will get fleas".

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    2. I'd rather be tried by 12 then carried by 6. -Ice Cube

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    3. 4.06 that's s cop saying dicho known for years. Ice cube did not invent it

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  13. What does Ariel Camacho have to do with this article? He didn't get killed for singing narcocorridos did he?

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  14. Tucanes de Tijuana got shot in Chihuahua. The drummer got the worst end of it he had to leave the band. Ay nomas un informe..
    Saludos desde Juaritoz

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  15. No he crashed for being to drunk!

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  16. Valentin Elizalde must of took the worst hit of them all...Vato didnt stand a chance

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    1. IMO The Guy from KPaz had it worst

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  17. Badass. Corridos are what's up, say what you want. They ain't going away just cuz borderlandbeat readers don't like them.

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    1. I know...kidnappings, drugs, ignorant illiterate ninis and home-erotic narco worship is badass. Here's some of your garbage right here Mexico.

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    2. CDS all a creation of guadalajara cartel run by CIA asset mexican DFS for Luis echeverria alvarez after diaz ordaz fingered him for president, with an all sinaloa cast of DFS charolas...
      --After the halconazo, jueves de corpus, Alfonso Martinez Dominguez had to resign to save el presidente's jundillo, and he resigned, telling the president "here is my resignation, chingue a su madre señor presidente..." he went to the "estado de monterrey", later becoming governor, to establish the link with cartel del golfo and have his own money making drug trafficking organization, but he never made president...Halconso Martinez Dominguez...
      --It relates to the shit the mexicans have, has its origins on ambassador win scott, his creation of DFS, and the CIA, his chosen "pretty boys", their drug trafficking and the rivalries among the cartels...and the LITEMPO politicians...

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    3. What the fuck are you rambling on about. Is this how you convince yourself its ok for your kids to be bumping those narco-corridos so fucking loud that probably 10 safehouses within a quarter mile con secuestrados adentro can hear that shit?

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  18. Not all singers get killed in Mexico. Chuy Quintanilla got hit right in Texas.

    Also, what's the story with the death of Fabian Ortega, "El Halcon de la Sierra"? There are different claims. He was a young guy; skilled with music.

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  19. How to be a DumbAss

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  20. What about Diego Rivas

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  21. Saul viera , Sergio vega, tito torbellino, Adam sanchez

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    1. 9:05pm
      Nada que ver con esto

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  22. they promote violence, they promote death, they got what was coming to them. "when the vilest men are exalted, evil walks on every side."

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    1. Finally somebody gets it. Here Here!

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