Several members of a band who had been missing since January 25 were found dead in the north Mexican state of Nuevo Leon, in a ranch allegedly belonging to drug traffickers.
Between 18 and 20 members of Kombo Kolombia, a band playing Colombian-style music, went missing after performing at a private party in the town of Hidalgo. A band member who escaped told authorities that some 10 gunmen had interrupted the party, forced the band into a van, and driven them out of town. He heard the men question his bandmates about if they were in a drug cartel, then gunshots, as the Associated Press reported.
The state Attorney General’s Office reported that 14 bodies have been found in a pit on a ranch in the town of Minas, 30 kilometers from where the party was held, and that they had gunshot wounds and signs of torture, reported El Diario. Authorities are continuing the search for more bodies.
Police said that they thought the band was contracted for the party as a trap. Official sources told El Diario that Kombo Kolombia had performed in bars linked to the Zetas gang.
InSight Crime Analysis
This would not be the first time that Mexican musicians have been caught up in drug violence. In one high-publicized case, popular singer Diego Rivas was gunned down in Sinaloa state in 2011. He was well-known for singing “narcocorrido” songs, a genre which celebrates drug trafficking, and there have been a number of other cases of narcocorrido singers being killed after apparently falling foul of their subjects.
Kombo Kolombia, however, did not play narcocorrido songs, but vallenato, a genre of romantic Colombian music, and cumbia, an upbeat musical style from Colombia's coast.
Nuevo Leon, close to the Texas border, is home to high levels of drug-related violence. Its capital, Monterrey, is currently the battleground in a bloody battle between the Zetas and the Gulf Cartel, and has recently seen violence spurred by internal splits in the Zetas.