Narco Corridos: The dark side of the Mexican music world

Scene of the crime

Chuy Quintanilla joins a list of other musicians who have performed songs promoting the drug cartel life. He was well known for his narco corridos.

An expert on cartels, UTB Government Department Chair Professor Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera, told Action 4 News why people make these dangerous decisions in music.

"Narco comes from the word for drug trafficking, ~Narco Traffico TM, Correa-Cabrera said.

Correa-Cabrera studies drug cartels and their influences in Mexico and in the United States.

She said Quintanilla is one of many Mexican musicians who sang about the lives of a cartel members and at times glorified their lifestyle.

"They talk about shootings, their lovers, big achievements like having a lot of money, drugs and women. The life of the narco," Correa-Cabrera said.

Narcocorridos are not a new trend in Mexican music, in fact, they've been around for decades and fans buy it up.

People who sing about these people, drug traffickers are making money from that because there is a captive market and the drug traffickers are going to promote this music," Correa-Cabrera said. "It promotes, recruits young people presents a life that everyone would like to have and it really serves the purpose of drug trafficking organizations."

While some artists find success in releasing these types of songs, Correa-Cabrera said they also run the risk of becoming a targets in the organized crime world.

In January, 14 members of the group Kombo Kolombia were found in a mass grave in Monterrey.

Although the motive behind Quintanilla's murder has not been determined, he joins a morbid list of artists who sang narcocorridos who turned up dead:

Kombo KolombiaMonterreyJanuary 2013 Julio Cesar Leyva BeltranLos Ciclones del ArroyoSinaloaApril 2012 Sergio Vega (aka El Shaka)SinaloaJune 2010

Rodolfo Gomez ValenzuelaCrtel de SinaloaSinaloaMarch 2011

Jos Antonio Snchez VelzquezCrtel de SinaloaSinaloaSeptember 2009 Paulo Sergio Gmez SnchezK-paz de la SierraMichoacanDecember 2007

Valentin ElizaldeReynosaNovember 2006

The only difference is, Quintanilla's the first such singer to be killed on the American side of the border.

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