SAN DIEGO — This week, the popular Mexican tourist destination of Cancun in the state of Quintana Roo outlawed what are known as narcocorridos as it tries to cut down on violence in that part of the Yucatán Peninsula.
Cancun becomes one of several areas in Mexico to adopt this policy.
It also prohibits certain musical groups known for these ballads from performing in the city.
“Every time there is one of these events, the truth is, there are always incidents of violence,” said Jorge Aguilar Osorio a Quintana Roo state legislator.
Cancun Mayor Ana Patricia Peralta also supported the banning of narcocorridos in her city.
“We can’t have any type of event where violence is promoted in one way or another,” said Peralta.
Narcocorridos are songs with lyrics that romanticize and detail the exploits of drug traffickers.
Some of the songs also contain graphic descriptions of violent events.
Critics of the music say the lyrics often talk about misfortune and death while glamorizing criminal exploits of drug lords such as Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, who headed the Sinaloa Cartel for many years and has retained a large cult following.
He is now in a maximum-security prison in Colorado serving a life sentence.
Also, some of the content is said to violate Mexican federal radio and television statutes, which prohibit “transmissions that may cause corruption of the language and go against decency and good customs through malicious expressions or provocative phrases.”
Mexican border states such as Chihuahua and Mexico City have also banned “narcocorridos” for several years already.
Jorge Castañeda, Mexico’s former Minister of Foreign Relations told the New York Times recently that “you can’t fault narcocorridos for the violence brought on by drug dealers.”
Other critics of the ban say narcocorridos are just a genre of popular music that originated in Northern Mexico similar to rap groups in the United States who glorified gang activity.