Skip to comments.Spree of musician killings shocks Mexico
Posted on 12/04/2007 4:19:01 PM PST by NormsRevenge
MEXICO CITY - A wave of organized crime violence terrorizing many parts of Mexico is driving fear into the heart of the entertainment business with the murders of several popular musicians, suggesting no one is immune to the rampant brutality.
Most disquieting were the weekend slayings of two singers who had crooned only about love and loss, not drugs and guns like some "narcocorrido" celebrities killed in the past.
The murders of Sergio Gomez, lead performer for the top-selling group K-Paz de la Sierra, and Zayda Pena of the group Zayda and the Guilty Ones has mainstream singers worrying they may become targets by becoming identified with one or another of Mexico's warring drug gangs.
"What can I say? We are dismayed about this. I mean, we are all in the same boat," said Javier Diaz, representative of Los Tucanes del Norte, a popular group that often poses with assault rifles to promote its songs and violence-filled videos.
Although not known for songs glamorizing the drug business, Gomez had reportedly received death threats urging him not to appear in the capital of the western state of Michoacan, a hot bed of the drug trade where he was tortured before being strangled Sunday.
Pena was killed with similar brutality the previous day. Gunman fired an execution-style gunshot into her at the hospital where she was recovering from surgery for a bullet wound in her neck suffered Friday at a motel in the border city of Matamoros, across from Brownsville, Texas.
Some fear that singers, whether they have any links to drug cartels or not, are routinely "adopted" by drug gangs, which post Internet videos showing their members torturing and executing rivals to soundtracks of popular tunes.
"It really has people worried, because you never know if you go to a concert, what will happen, whether somebody might get shot," said Pablo Zuack, press coordinator for Bandamax, a cable TV channel specializing in northern Mexican music. "When you interview a performer, you never know if it's the last story you'll write about him."
Elijah Wald, author of the book "Narcocorrido," said the musicians' fears may be justified.
"They've just kidnapped and murdered a major international star traveling with bodyguards," he said, referring to Gomez. "That is a very clear message: `We can get anybody.'"
Carolina Jaramillo, a publicist who represented Gomez and other acts, said the singer had no ties to the drug trade that she knew of and she had no reason to believe he would be a target.
"This year, and last year, we have seen a lot of violence," she said. "We don't know where the next one could come from."
Gomez's manager, who is also named Sergio Gomez, told the television network Televisa that the singer had no ties to drug gangs, but had received threats earlier in the day warning him against performing in Morelia, which has been the site of bloody turf battles between Mexico's two main cartels.
His group canceled an appearance in Morelia last year after similar threats, but Gomez refused to cancel again, said band representative Mario Olvera.
After the concert, Gomez left with two business associates but was intercepted by 10 Chevrolet Suburbans. His body turned up on a rural roadside with signs of strangulation and severe bruising on the thorax and abdomen as well as burns on the legs. The business associates reportedly were released unharmed.
Hundreds of people mourned Gomez early Tuesday in his native Ciudad Hidalgo, and a ceremony was planned later in the day in Mexico City, where he was to be cremated. The ashes were being sent to Indiana, where Gomez's closest relatives live, local news media said.
The slaying of Pena inside a hospital was a tactic redolent of Mexico's drug world, in which gangs have been known to storm hospitals to rescue wounded comrades or finish off injured rivals.
Like Gomez, Pena had no known drug associations. While Gomez was famous for his up-tempo "Pasito Duranguense" rhythm and Pena wrote more in the ballad-like "grupero" style, both essentially sang songs whose themes went little beyond love.
Earlier slayings of entertainers involved musicians who sang about the criminal underworld. Valentin Elizalde, who was killed last year after performing across the border from McAllen, Texas, became popular with "To My Enemies," a song frequently seen as a drug lord's anthem.
Many musicians are now worried that becoming associated with a drug gang may be as easy as waiting for someone to use their song as the soundtrack to a homemade video.
"More than anything else, the point is that musicians make music, they don't belong to any group," said Diaz, the representatives of Los Tucanes. "Nobody has the right to take anybody else's life."
Sounds like they need this man....
related thread from earlier today
Arrgh. As a (retired) musician, I can only say that I’m glad this kind of craziness did not interrupt my life and career.
Very tribal behavior. Turd world.
Thanks, missed that one.. It’s madness down there.
Certainly a rough looking bunch.(sarcasm)
Thats Sergio on the left
no one is immune to the rampant brutality...Mexico again...this is world wide...vicious criminals...with little if any law enforcement...
"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus
mexico’s a narco-police-terrorist state, spinning out of control.
when i moved to socal in the mid-80’s i followed the goings-on in mexico, such as the assassination of a church bishop, police, etc.
i assumed that mexicans would return to mexico from the u.s. and help build a more productive society.
but in the last 20 years, just the opposite has happened—
mexico has grown more violent and chaotic.
Sure seems to me like the former drug war of Colombia has picked up and moved to the greener pastures of Mexico.
there is a nasty link on that other thread that is very graphic (for the bloodthirsty Freepers)
Makes you think that there;s more to the rampant influx of illegals than just those “jobs Americans won’t do”.
It would be a tough battle but the Mexicans need to fight for their country.
If the open borders crowd has its way, it’s coming to the U.S.
Hey, all cultures are equal. Really. Cudda happened at a ludfisk sit down supper, ya know.
Mexicans just love these caballero polka pop groups. There must be hundreds of them, all more or less interchangeable except for the jacket design, which is unique to each group.
Time to send in Ted Nugent!
And those oddly shaped, bulbous guitars are downright sinister. I can't put my finger on it....
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