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.