Mexican Government Looking to Ban Popular "Drug Ballads"

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Mexican "drug ballad" group Los Tigres del Norte

As the Mexican government's war on drugs continues to produce lackluster results, Mexico's ruling party is taking aim at a different enemy: musicians.

Members of Mexico's National Action Party have proposed legislation that would make "drug ballads," or "narcocorridos," illegal.

Violators of the law could face up to three years in prison if they perform or produce the music.

And we thought Tipper Gore and her warning labels stifled free speech.

"Drug ballads" are songs that glorify a wide variety of different illegal activities -- including drug or human trafficking and illegal immigration -- that Mexico, and in turn the U.S., have been grappling with for decades.

 

In our opinion, they're edgier and much more creative than screaming "fuck the police" over and over into a microphone.

A lot of the themes are expressed symbolically and don't come right out and applaud the illegal activities they supposedly glorify. Check out some lyrics here.

The music genre was the subject of a 2003 New Times feature titled Border Boys. Check it out here.

The Beatles of the "drug-ballad" genre are a band called Los Tigres del Norte, who have been penning songs about drug-runners since the late 1960's, winning a Grammy in the process.

As wars between drug cartels and the Mexican government have heated up, so has the music -- prompting the Mexican government to launch an investigation into potential links between drug cartels and several "drug-ballad" musicians.

The proposed bill to outlaw the music was introduced in Mexico's Congress on Wednesday, but it is unclear when lawmakers will vote on it.

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