(PNS reporting from CHIHUAHUA) The New York Times reports that Mexican super group Los Tigres del Norte, dubbed the Metallica of Norteño Music, has been banned from performing in the state Chihuahua after they sang one of their popular narcocorridos at a cattle expo in Ciudad Juárez.
The band began a heavy rendition of La Reina del Sur — which details the life and exploits of drug trafficking legend Sandra Avila Beltran — but were quickly escorted offstage by portly Federales armed with stale churros.
Juarez Chief of Police Feo B. Sonso says that the city doesn’t mind actual narcos and their beheading tactics so much as it does bandas singing about them.
“Bandas? We don need no steenking bandas!” Sonso said.
The Chihuahuan government said Los Tigres violated a city ordinance that forbids songs that “glorify narcos” and that the band will be fined “at least 20,000 pesos” (about $10.)
On their Facebook page, Los Tigres responded to the ban and said they were “muy chocked” by the announcement. The band claimed they did not know it was against the law to sing narcocorridos.
“Amigos, Los Tigres respect and support the rule of law pero we are muy surprised that we have been banned in Chihuahua. Pues, I guess we will just have to keep rocking the corridos in Sinaloa, Sonora and Durango. Los Tigres support free speech! Ajua!”
Before Los Tigres were banned, local governments in Mexico tried to limit the exposure of songs about drugs. Glenn Frey (a founding member of American band Las Águilas) was arrested in Tijuana recently for performing his 80’s hit Smuggler’s Blues (video below) on his Comeback Tour. Frey has since petitioned for extradition to the U.S. but officials say they are “not interested.”
Opponents of narcocorridos say the genre glorifies violence but see no problem with actual narcos and narco-related violence. Los Tigres and other groups with narco songs argue that they are akin to the 90’s gangster rappers in the U.S. – telling the truth about what is going on in the country and putting to music what the news refuses to cover.
S. J. Rivera is an indie Publisher/Author @ Broken Sword Publications