Singer Jenni Rivera

The plane crash in which Mexican American singer Jenni Rivera and five others died last week may have been related to a spat she allegedly had with the Zetas, an unidentified source told the Huffington Post, although these claims have not been confirmed.

The plane crash that caused the death of 43-year old California-born singer Jenni Rivera on December 9 is still under investigation by US and Mexican authorities. 

However, according to a recent article published by a Huffington Post blogger, the crash could have been related to the superstar’s alleged clash with Mexican criminal organization the Zetas, an anonymous source told the news website. 

According to the source, the criminal organization wanted to use Rivera's legitimate businesses to launder illicit cash, a demand the superstar reportedly refused. 

The AP, meanwhile, has reported that the DEA is investigating the owner of the crashed plane, who "has a long and checkered past" connecting him with drug trafficking organizations in Mexico and the US.

InSight Analysis

The death of Rivera, a popular musical and television personality, has drawn widespread media coverage. Rumors that her death was somehow caused by -- or was at least related to -- organized crime were perhaps inevitable. Narco-conspiracy theories frequently arise when public figures in Mexico die tragically. Notably, rumours proliferated after the death of Mexico's interior minister in a helicopter crash last year. And there are still dozens of theories for why Cardinal Juan Jesus Posadas Ocampo was gunned down in an airport in 1993. 

Rivera was best known for singing Grupera songs, a genre of folk music popular in northern Mexico. And as reported by Univision, Grupero musicians have not been immune from organized crime and violence. The genre is believed to be popular among members of the Mexican underworld, much like "narcocorridos."

The Huffington Post report, based on one anonymous source, does not provide enough evidence to support the theory that Rivera did in fact clash with the Zetas. However, it does seem plausible that the Mexican gang would be looking for legitimate businesses through which their illicit profits can be made clean. The organization has already used a high-profile horse breeding company to launder millions of dollars of illicit cash. Conceivably, they saw the music and entertainment business as another laundering opportunity. 

Investigations

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
Prev Next

Colombia Elites and Organized Crime: Introduction

Colombia Elites and Organized Crime: Introduction

The power of Colombia's elites is founded upon one of the most unequal divisions of land in the world. As of the early 21st century, one percent of landowners own more than half the country's agricultural land.1  Under Spanish rule, Colombia's agriculture was organized on the hacienda...

Honduras Elites and Organized Crime: Introduction

Honduras Elites and Organized Crime: Introduction

Honduras is currently one of the most violent countries on the planet that is not at war. The violence is carried out by transnational criminal organizations, local drug trafficking groups, gangs and corrupt security forces, among other actors. Violence is the focal point for the international aid...

Elites and Organized Crime: Introduction

Elites and Organized Crime: Introduction

Organized crime and the violence associated with it is the preeminent problem in Latin America and the Caribbean today. The region is currently home to six of the most violent countries in the world that are not at war. Four of those countries are in Central America...

Special Report: Gangs in Honduras

Special Report: Gangs in Honduras

In a new report based on extensive field research, InSight Crime and the Asociacion para una Sociedad mas Justa have traced how Honduras' two largest gangs, the MS13 and the Barrio 18, are evolving, and how their current modus operandi has resulted in staggering levels of violence...

Bolivia: the New Hub for Drug Trafficking in South America

Bolivia: the New Hub for Drug Trafficking in South America

Transnational organized crime likes opportunities and little resistance. Bolivia currently provides both and finds itself at the heart of a new criminal dynamic that threatens national and citizen security in this landlocked Andean nation.

Justice and the Creation of a Mafia State in Guatemala

Justice and the Creation of a Mafia State in Guatemala

As Guatemala's Congress gears up to select new Supreme Court Justices and appellate court judges, InSight Crime is investigating how organized crime influences the selection process. This story details the interests of one particular political bloc vying for control over the courts and what's at stake: millions...

The FARC 2002-Present: Decapitation and Rebirth

The FARC 2002-Present: Decapitation and Rebirth

In August 2002, the guerrillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) greeted Colombia's new president with a mortar attack that killed 14 people during his inauguration. The attack was intended as a warning to the fiercely anti-FARC newcomer. But it became the opening salvo of...

The Urabeños - The Criminal Hybrid

The Urabeños - The Criminal Hybrid

The mad scramble for criminal power in the aftermath of the demobilization of the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) is over. The Urabeños, or as they prefer to call themselves, the "Autodefensas Gaitanistas de Colombia," have won.

Mexico's Security Dilemma: The Battle for Michoacan

Mexico's Security Dilemma: The Battle for Michoacan

Faced with the government's failure to rein in the criminals, communities across crime-besieged Mexico have been trying for years to organize effective civic resistance. Michoacan's vigilantes express the most extreme response by society to date, but other efforts have been less belligerent. In battle-torn cities along the...

Uruguay's Marijuana Bill Faces Political, Economic Obstacles

Uruguay's Marijuana Bill Faces Political, Economic Obstacles

If Uruguay's proposal to regulate the production, sale and distribution of marijuana is properly implemented and overcomes political and economic hurdles, it could be the most important drug regulation experiment in decades.