From Central America comes this ballad that’s fast rising the Latin American charts. It’s all about the dangerous Death Train that Central American drug war refugees ride on their way across Mexico enroute to El Norte. In Spanish they call the train The Beast — La Bestia.
And who is the man behind this music? It’s a name we all love, but who knew he could sing!? This track comes from Uncle Sam, who hired an ad agency to make a hit record.
Migra corridos – migra is a derogatory term for US immigration officials – have been around for a few years. In 1998, the US Border Patrol made public service announcements to warn potential migrants of the danger of crossing the border and commissioned an advertising agency to compose tragic songs such as El Más Grande Enemigo about fatal crossings in the tradition of the narco corridos, the melodramatic ballads about Mexico’s drug lords.
Do musicians feel compromised by their involvement? La Bestia’s composer, Carlo Nicolau, has admitted misgivings about working for border control. “I thought I was really going to bed with the devil,” he told the Daily Beast. “But I’ve learned that a lot of them are risking their lives to help people not die.”