Narcocorrido-style band, the Tucanes de Tijuana

The Mexican Supreme Court has overturned Sinaloa state's ban on "narcocorridos," folk songs about the exploits of drug traffickers, which the state government says glamorize criminals.

The administration of Sinaloa Governor Mario Lopez Valdez said it would respect the February 14 decision, but warned that "Sinaloan society is losing out," reported El Universal.

Sinaloa state introduced the ban on public performances of narcocorridos in May 2011, threatening bars with the removal of their liquor licences if they hosted shows.

The Supreme Court found that Lopez had exceeded his powers in creating the legislation, as CNN reported.

After the ruling, the Sinaloa government explained that its intention had been to halt the growing influence of "narco-culture."

InSight Crime Analysis

"Narco-culture" refers to the infiltration of drug cartel imagery into music, language, and even religious icons, playing off ideas of traffickers as rebel outlaws or glamorous gangsters. Battling this celebration of the drug trade has become another front in Mexico's drug war, as the Sinaloa ban demonstrated.

However, as InSight Crime noted at the time, it is difficult to enforce a ban on a style of music, and, even if successfully implemented, it would not change all the other factors that make Sinaloa state prime territory for traffickers. Such bans also have serious implications for the right to freedom of expression.

Chihuahua city, in north Mexico, has also tried to stop the performance of narcocorridos, banning norteño group Los Tigres del Norte from playing in March last year, while Tijuana city, Baja California state and Nuevo Leon state have all imposed similar bans.

Investigations

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
Prev Next

The MS13 Moves (Again) to Expand on US East Coast

The MS13 Moves (Again) to Expand on US East Coast

Local police and justice officials are convinced that the Mara Salvatrucha (MS13) has strengthened its presence along the East Coast of the United States. The alarm follows a recent spate of violence -- of the type not seen in a decade -- which included dismembered bodies and...

'MS13 Members Imprisoned in El Salvador Can Direct the Gang in the US'

'MS13 Members Imprisoned in El Salvador Can Direct the Gang in the US'

Special Agent David LeValley headed the criminal division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) Washington office until last November 8. While in office, he witnessed the rise of the MS13, the Barrio 18 (18th Street) and other smaller gangs in the District of Columbia as well...

Guatemala's Mafia State and the Case of Mauricio López Bonilla

Guatemala's Mafia State and the Case of Mauricio López Bonilla

Former Guatemalan Interior Minister Mauricio López Bonilla -- a decorated war hero and a longtime US ally -- finds himself treading water amidst a flurry of accusations about corruption and his connections to drug traffickers. López Bonilla is not the most well-known suspect in the cases against...

How the MS13 Got Its Foothold in Transnational Drug Trafficking

How the MS13 Got Its Foothold in Transnational Drug Trafficking

Throughout the continent, the debate on whether or not the Mara Salvatrucha (MS13) gang is working with or for drug traffickers continues. In this investigation, journalist Carlos García tells the story of how a member of the MS13 entered the methamphetamine distribution business under the powerful auspices...

The Lucky ‘Kingpin’: How ‘Chepe Diablo’ Has (So Far) Ridiculed Justice

The Lucky ‘Kingpin’: How ‘Chepe Diablo’ Has (So Far) Ridiculed Justice

José Adán Salazar Umaña is the only Salvadoran citizen currently on the US government's Kingpin List. But in his defense, Salazar Umaña claims is he is an honorable businessman who started his career by exchanging money along the borders between Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. He does...

How the MS13 Tried (and Failed) to Create a Single Gang in the US

How the MS13 Tried (and Failed) to Create a Single Gang in the US

In July 2011, members of the Mara Salvatrucha (MS13) attended a meeting organized in California by a criminal known as "Bad Boy." Among the invitees was José Juan Rodríguez Juárez, known as "Dreamer," who had gone to the meeting hoping to better understand what was beginning to...