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Mexico: Congress proposes restrictions on “narcoseries”

1 December 2016

el-capo-mexico-narcoseries
A Senator and a parliamentarian both called for hardening restrictions on the airing schedules of “narcoseries” – television series in which the main topics are drug kingpins and the crimes they’re responsible for, reported El Economista on 31 October 2016.

Senator Zoé Robledo and parliamentarian Lía Limón, both presidents of the Radio and TV Commissions in the Senate and Congress, respectively, sent an official letter to the Ministry of Interior and the Federal Institute of Telecommunications, recommending they should change the airing schedule of the “narcoseries” broadcast on television to a time later at night.

“The transmission of ‘narcoseries’ on television before 22:00, violates the General Rights for Children and Adolescents, and several articles of the Federal Law for Radio and Telecommunications, due the fact that the largest percentage of underage consumers in front of a television is between the hours of 13:00 and 22:00,” they stated in the letter

The politicians accused the “narcoseries” of violating the current Federal Law of Telecommunications and Radio, arguing that the government “cannot ignore commercial television broadcasters who violently violate current laws, promote the apology of violence and portray drug-trafficking and its activities as an aspirational role model”.


Politician does not consider measure censorhip
On 3 November 2016, Limón clarified during a radio debate on WRadio that the measure wasn’t about content censorship, but rather about moving the series to a timetable more suitable for their content rating; a measure he stated that is “similar” to other regulations in “several countries in Latin America”.

In the same radio debate, Darío Ramírez, the former director of freedom of expression organisation Article19 Mexico, contradicted Limón, saying that it is dangerous to quickly label content as “apologetic to crime”, especially if one considers the number of artists in Mexico who have been suffering for recent similar cases happening at state levels, such as the bans on “narcocorridos” – songs inspired by drug trafficking and crime bosses.


Producers ignore recommendation
On 6 November 2016, main Mexican broadcasters TV Azteca, Imagen TV and Televisa decided to ignore the politicians’ proposal, transmitting a “special programming bar” featuring four “narcoseries” that started at 21:00 with the broadcasters fighting for ratings.

Television producer of major television hits, including several narcoseries, Epigmenio Ibarra, told Diario.MX on 18 November 2016 that the accusations by Congress about narcoseries are just an attempt of censorship.

“Why does nobody want to talk about drug trafficking in this country? It exists and it’s the result of governmental corruption,” he said.


Censorship on “narcocorridos”
“Narcocorridos” have, for several years, been at the forefront of censorship in Mexico, with bands and singers often targeted by state officials who ban their music and performances because of the content of their songs.

Most recently, as of February 2016, three states in Mexico – Sinaloa, Coahuila and Chihuahua – have posed restrictions on public performances of “narcorridos” and “movimiento alterado” artists, all of whom create music that is a variation of traditional Mexican ballads, or “corridos”, that feature lyrics praising the lifestyle and crimes of Mexican drug kingpins.

In Coahuila, state governor Rubén Moreira Valdez went a step further than just banning public performances and banned “narcocorridos” outright, threatening media outlets that broadcast the music with losing “governmental support”.


Photo: Promotional ad for “narcoseries” ‘El Capo’ whose premiere was postponed due to the proposal/Twitter


Sources

» DiarioMX – 18 November 2016
Ibarra denounces censorship on ‘narcoseries’

» Telemundo – 16 November 2016
‘Narcocorridos’ out of the Sinaloa Fair

» El Economista – 6 November 2016
Broadcasters challenge the government with narcoseries

» Proceso – 5 November 2016
‘Narcoseries’: a new weapon in the fight for ratings

» WRadio – 3 November 2016
Mexican Congress proposes to regulate schedules for airing ‘narcoseries’

» Milenio – 2 November 2016
Parliamentarians and Senators versus ‘narcoseries’

» El Economista – 31 October 2016
The war against the ‘narcoseries’

» Proceso – 31 October 2016
‘Narcoseries’ under threat: Congress will ask for limit its broadcasting


More from Freemuse

» 9 March 2016: Mexico: Two more states ban ‘narcocorridos’

» 19 November 2015: Mexico: Musicians abducted, one killed

» 19 March 2015: Mexico: City bans ‘narcocorridos’ after shooting at concert leaves two dead

» 15 August 2013: Mexico: Drug ballads banned in Chihuahua

» 19 February 2013: Mexico: ‘Narcocorridos’ can be sung again in Sinaloa

» 11 April 2012: Mexico: Musicians are kidnapped and tortured

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