Mexico: narcos declare open season on musicians

Three popular Mexican musicians met violent deaths in six days this week. José Luis Aquino Lavariega, 33, trumpet-player with the band Los Conde, was found Dec. 5 under a bridge in Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, bound with a plastic bag over his head. On Dec. 3, the tortured body of Sergio Gomez, 34, singer for K-Paz de la Sierra, was found the night after he was abducted while leaving a stadium concert in Morelia, Michoacán. Zayda Peña, 28, singer for Zayda y Los Culpables, survived an attempt on her life only to be shot to death in the hospital in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Dec. 1. A friend and hotel manager were killed in the initial attempt Nov. 30. Eight popular musicians have been murdered this year in Mexico.

These artists were not particularly known for “narco-corridos” that glorify gun-play. Although one of her songs is titled “Tiro de Gracia” (coup de grace), Peña’s music was in the grupero genre, focusing mostly on romance. Los Conde guitarist Francisco Conde said Aquino was married with two children and had played with the group for 14 years. “He was a good person and never fought with anyone,” Conde said. “He didn’t smoke or do drugs.” (AP, Dec. 8; Spero News, Dec. 6; Houston Chronicle, Dec. 5; Houston Chronicle, Dec. 4)

See our last posts on Mexico, the narco wars and war on musicians.