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Narcocorridos: Glorifying Mexico’s Brutal Drug Trade…


The New York Times article “Minstrels in the Court of the Kingpin”:

In November an anonymous user uploaded a new song to YouTube by Los Tucanes de Tijuana, one of Mexico’s most popular bands. The song, “El Más Bravo de los Bravos” (“The Most Vicious of the Vicious”), heralds the exploits of Raydel Rosalío López Uriarte, better known as El Muletas, or Crutches, a suspected hit man and trafficker high up in the ranks of the Tijuana drug cartel who had become as infamous for blood baths and beheadings as for his fleet of bullet-proof trucks, his crew’s uniform logos styled after MTV’s “Jackass,” and a low-budget street DVD that fictionalized his exploits.

“A very dangerous man who doesn’t fear the Devil,” Los Tucanes sing, listing Mr. López’s favorite guns (R-15 and 50-caliber rifles) and comparing him to Rambo. “He executes, kidnaps and gets the payments.”

It was not the first time that Los Tucanes (the Toucans) paid tribute to Mr. López in a narcocorrido, a controversial, time-honored and immensely popular Mexican song form that in its current manifestation typically turns news accounts of drug trafficking and drug violence into bouncy accordion- and brass-accented ballads. Their 2008 song “El Muletas” detailed a failed arrest attempt in which Mr. López escaped 200 federal agents at a popular Tijuana restaurant. (Mr. López was apprehended last month.)

The video below, with a backing track of Los Tucanes de Tijuana’s “El Más Bravo de los Bravos”, features fictional scenes and actual footage of Mexico’s narcos kidnapping, murdering, and necessitating the intervention of dozens of Mexican law enforcement agents (note: the audio quality is abysmal):