Drug Ballads Banned in Chihuahua City

By Reina Berger 03/13/12

Sensitivities over the glamorization of Mexico's drug war cause the banishment of a major international band.

Los Tigres Del Norte: chased out
of town
Photo via

The popular Mexican band "Los Tigres del Norte" has been banned by the Chihuahua city government for singing a ballad perceived to glamorize drug traffickers. Other bans on drug-related songs—known as “narcocorridos"—have been enforced in cartel-ravaged Mexico, but not concerning bands as big as Los Tigres. The group has been a mainstay of norteño (northern) music since the early '70s, with hits like "Contrabando y Traicion" (Contraband and Betrayal) and "Jefe de Jefes" (Boss of Bosses), selling 32 million records and winning five latin Grammy Awards. Typically backed by an accordion, their lyrics portray life in a way that resonates with fans worldwide; they've helped transform norteño into an international genre, infused with bolero, cumbia, rock rhythms and waltzes, as well as machine-gun and siren effects. But in the city of Chihuahua this weekend, Los Tigres played "La Reina del Sur" (The Queen of the South), a song believed to refer to alleged female drug capos like Sandra Avila Beltran, better known as the "Queen of the Pacific." The municipal government forbade the performance of narcocorridos in 2011; so as things stand, Los Tigres Del Norte are banned from performing in the city of Chihuahua indefinitely.

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Reina Berger is the Sr. Editor at the Dr. Oz Show. You can find her on Linkedin.