Alleged drug cartels are killing more Mexican musicians

From The Toronto Star:

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO—The bodies of at least four Mexican musicians were pulled from a well with bullet wounds and signs of torture Monday, and officials suspect they were targeted in a part of the country dominated bydrug cartels.

Authorities in the northern state of Nuevo Leon had pulled 12 bodies from a well by Monday night, and identified four of them as members of the Kombo Kolombia band, state security spokesman Jorge Domene said at a news conference.

The Kombo Kolombia attack is the latest act of violence against Mexican musicians in recent years. As Mexico’s militarized war on drugs surged in 2006, music reflected the violence. Dozens in the music industry — most commonly in the genres of “norteña” or “banda,” especially popular in Mexico’s north — have met violent ends, often attributed to the country’s various drug cartels. And a genre known as narcocorridos — roughly “gangster ballads” — has become a household name.

The name comes from traditional corridos, or ballads, that sung stories of love, trials and tribulations in Mexico’s large working class. The term “narco,” Mexican slang for drug dealer, was added when gangsters began to contract musicians to sing praises of the lives, deaths and feats of modern-day gunslingers. Recorded tracks could praise one cartel, insult another, sing taunts across police frequencies or play over YouTube videos of cartel foot soldiers being tortured to death by their rivals — one of many horrific terror tactics used by the media-savvy cartels.

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