Latin America & Caribbean

Mexico band Tigres del Norte fined over 'narco song'

Mexican band Los Tigres del Norte pose before a press conference in Mexico City, on October 7, 2014. Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Los Tigres del Norte have been playing norteño music for more than three decades

The mayor of the city of Chihuahua in northern Mexico has fined norteño music band for playing a "narcocorrido", a song glorifying drug trafficking.

The singing of "narcocorridos" at live events has been banned by Chihuahua state law since 2011.

Los Tigres del Norte, one of Mexico's most well-known bands, will have to pay $27,000 (£20,800).

"We can't allow this kind of veneration" of drug trafficking, Chihuahua's mayor said.

Los Tigres del Norte have a wide repertoire of songs about criminals and drug traffickers, such as Jefe de jefes (Boss of bosses), La reina del sur (Queen of the South) and El avión de la muerte (The plane of death).

They were performing at the Santa Rita festival in Chihuahua on the weekend.

Despite the state ban on performing "narcocorridos", they played one of their earliest songs, Contrabando y traición (Contraband and betrayal).

Contraband and betrayal (translated extract from the lyrics)

Image copyright Getty Images

The wheels of their car were stuffed full of bad weed

They were Emilio Varela and Camelia, the Texan

She was a woman with a big heart

One of those who, when she loves a man,

Is willing to give his life for him

But better watch out if you cross her

Betrayal and contraband don't go well together

The song is about a waitress who meets a man smuggling "bad weed" across the border to the United States.

While in the end the smuggler is killed by the waitress for cheating on her with another woman, the waitress gets away with the money and murder.

Chihuahua Mayor María Eugenia Campos told a local newspaper that she would not allow drug trafficking to be glorified.

It is not the first time Los Tigres del Norte have got into trouble with the Chihuahua authorities.

In 2012, they were fined and banned from playing in the state after they performed their most well-known song, La reina del sur, which recounts the exploits of a female drug dealer.

It is not clear when that ban was lifted.

Drug ballad appeal across US border

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Media captionListen to the 'drug ballads' popular in California

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