Mexico's pop stars are being killed by drug cartel bosses

Washington Post reports that "a dozen pop musicians have been killed in the past year in Mexico" by drug lords. The latest victim: Sergio Gómez, a superstar with an international following.

He was kidnapped after a show, then tortured, beaten and killed.

Nearly every one of the slayings bore the hallmarks of the drug cartel hitmen blamed for 4,000 deaths in the country in the past two years.

But the savage murder of Sergio Gómez -- one of Mexico's hottest singers, a headliner whose band, K-Paz de la Sierra, commanded $100,000 a show, twice the rate of other top bands -- was different. It has set off an unprecedented chain reaction in which at least half a dozen bands have canceled concert tours. Popular bands, such as the Duranguense act Patrulla 81, which backed out of four major shows, are terrified of coming to Morelia and the surrounding state of Michoacan.

It is common knowledge in Mexico's music industry, but not known to the general public, that drug cartels finance the careers of some budding musicians, then launder money through unregulated concert ticket sales, according to industry sources, musicians and law enforcement.



  1. I’ve been a mexican for 35 years and never heard of this guy, so don’t believe “one of mexico’s hottest singers”.

  2. Maybe budding Mexican artists could use the crowd-sourcing power of SellaBand, instead of making such a gamble with these people.

  3. Janusman, maybe you’re just listening to the wrong stations?

    Sergio Gomez lived near here. When word broke that he’d been murdered, much of the local latino community was deeply upset and much of the local non-latino community basically looked around and said “who?”. It was an interesting comment on how fragmented and complex our culture has become.

  4. Just to set the record straight I am Mexican (not by choice, by birth, and forever stuck there), and have never heard of any of this so called “pop” bands, I think I know what type of music they play because I read in the snippet “Duranguense”, which is a type of polka influenced crappy music with singers doing constant falsettos and using excessively nasal voices (crap, I tell you). It is common knowledge of the _general public_ that the particular type of “musical scene” that includes such acts sing, and communicate about drug-lord and territorial feuds. Common knowledge…

    Now, on the “latino” thing, I have never belonged to any such thing, I have never met anyone, or called anyone a friend that belonged to such scene, we go to raves, drink wine coolers, lots of beer, and do pot, none wears “sombreros”, cowboy boots, big golden belt buckles and treat women as useless servants.

  5. Unless your fame is as ubiquitous as Michael Jackson’s, it’s quite certain that a lot of people won’t have heard of you. You might as well say “well if Boing Boing is such a popular blog, how come my dad doesn’t read it?”

  6. It’s amazing how often things show up here on BoingBoing after the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corp)broadcasts a story on the topic.

    The CBC show, “Dispatches” had a segment on the Narco Corridos, Mexico’s version of “gasta rap”. Essentially, it is a form of Mexican folk music, in the form of a ballad, that glorifies the life and times of drug lords.

    You can listen to the excellent documentary here:, or if you prefer MP3, you can download the whole episode that includes the Narco Corrido documentary here:

    And, as usual, Wikipedia is your friend:

    Farrell J. McGovern

  7. of course some Mexicans wouldn’t have heard of these artists in the same way that many Americans would claim never to have heard of Garth Brooks.

    p.s i suggest the book Narcocorrido: A Journey into the Music of Drugs, Guns, and Guerrillas by Elijah Wald

  8. i live in mexico, guadalajara to be precise.. and i´ve never heard of this “one of Mexico’s hottest singers” Sergio Gómez.. “a superstar with an international following”

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