Several of the musicians from the Mexican group Kombo Kolombia who have been reported missing since 24 January, have been found dead. It is still uncertain how many band members that have been killed.
Kombo Kolombia had been playing a gig in a private bar on Thursday 24 January and alledgedly the muicians were abducted by gunmen early Friday. BBC News reported that as many as 12 band members and 8 staff were missing. One band member managed to escape the kidnappers and led police officers to a well in the northern state Nuevo Leon where their bodies were found.
Widespread drug violence
When relatives discovered that the musicians and their staff were missing they travelled to the concert venue only to discover that is was abandoned and that the band’s cars were empty.
Drug violence is widespread in the area and when the musicians were reported missing, the police worked on the assumption that they had been kidnapped. Drug gangs have killed several musicians in recent years. As many as 60,000-70,000 people are estimated to have died in drug-related violence in Mexico over the past six years.
At least one escaped
Special operations officers began searching for the missing band, but it was not until Sunday 27 January that they found the well, as a result of information provided by the band member who had managed to escape. The escaped musician had been beaten, but according to BBC’s source Nuevo Leon state security spokesman, the musician was in stable condition. He told the police that after the band were kidnapped, the kidnappers had been driving for about four hours and taken them to an abandoned ranch. Here they were beaten, forced to their knees and asked questions about drugs. The gunmen had executed at least two of them.
According to the Wall Street Journal police pulled 12 bodies from the well and there are indications that the bodies have been indentified as being the missing band members. According to Terra News, five musicians and one staff member have been identified, but it is still uncertain exactly how many of the band members have been killed.
Most musicians who were killed in Mexico played so called “narcocorridos”, songs which celebrate the lives of drug barons, but Kombo Kolombia does not fit into that pattern. They played romantic songs and specialised in Colombian popular music called Vallenato, not normally linked to Mexican drug gangs. However, local media has reported that the band played in bars that in the past had been targeted by drug cartels.
The Wall Street Journal – 28 January 2013:
‘Mexican Musicians Targeted in Killing’
BBC News – 29 January 2013:
‘Mexico missing band: Bodies found in Nuevo Leon well’
Terra News – 31 January 2013:
‘Kombo Kolombia – They wanted fame and found death’