Ayala Cleared Over Cartel Concert

Mexican authorities have dropped an investigation into drug charges against Tejano artist Ramon Ayala after his group mistakenly played a gig for a drug cartel near Mexico City in December.

During a recent press conference, the singer recounted receiving a call last year from a booking agent about playing a birthday party or quinceañera Dec. 10.

Ayala and his band Los Bravos del Norte accepted but found themselves in a private home the night of the gig, where they set up in a small room to play for a small group of people.

“I thought that we were going to play on a big stage in a ballroom, but when I realized that was not happening, there was no way out and we decided to go ahead with the commitment and played,” he told The Monitor.

As Los Bravos del Norte wrapped its set, the band was suddenly found itself in the middle of a Mexican military raid.

Chaos ensued as authorities descended on the house during an operation to capture the head of the Beltrán Leyva drug cartel.

“Then we started hearing the gunfire,” Ayala said. “We thought that was the end for us but thank God we are still here. We were able to squeeze into a hallway and two grenades were thrown into that direction and made everything tremble.”

Three gunmen were reportedly killed and 11 other suspected members of the gang were detained.

Ayala and co. were arrested and put under house arrest while the Mexican attorney general’s office investigated charges of organized crime, drug trafficking and money laundering, the paper said.

Despite the incident, Ayala said he will play future shows in Mexico, but plans to be more careful.

“We weren’t tricked,” he said. “It was the situation, really, that took us there.”