On 14 February 2013, The Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) in Mexico found that Sinaloa’s governor, Mario Lopez Valdez, had exceeded his powers when he created a legislation which banned public performances of ‘narcocorridos’, drug ballads.
The court reversed the decision of the state government of Sinaloa, in northern Mexico, which in May 2011 introduced a ban on public performances of the so-called ‘narcocorridos’ — songs which glorify drug cartels or drug crime — in bars, pubs and nightclubs of the state, threatening bars with the removal of their liquor licences if they hosted shows.
The intention was to see if they in this way would be able to stop the growing influence of ‘narco-culture’ where drug cartel imagery has been infiltrated not only into music, but also into language, and even religious icons, playing off ideas of traffickers as glamorous gangsters.
Ban will be lifted
A secretary from the administration of Sinaloa said it would respect the courts decision and lift the ban, but warned that “Sinaloan society is losing out,” reported El Universal.
Chihuahua city, in north Mexico, has also tried to stop the performance of narcocorridos, banning the norteño group Los Tigres del Norte from playing in March 2012, while Tijuana city, Baja California state and Nuevo Leon state have all imposed similar bans.
However, it is difficult to enforce a ban on a style of music, noted Miriam Wells in InSight Crime, while adding that even if successfully implemented, it would not change all the other factors that make Sinaloa state prime territory for traffickers. Such bans also have serious implications for the right to freedom of expression.
CNN Mexico – 15 February 2013:
La SCJN retira prohibición de los corridos sobre el crimen en Sinaloa
(SCHN removed the ban on narcocorridos in Sinaloa)
InSightCrime – 18 February 2013:
Mexican Supreme Court lifts Sinaloa ‘Narco-Music’ Ban
The Mexican Supreme Court has overturned Sinaloa state’s ban on “narcocorridos,” folk songs about the exploits of drug traffickers, which the state government says glamorize criminals. Written by Miriam Wells