Los Tigres Banned From Chihuahua

Mexican artists can find themselves in hot water if they sing songs glorifying drug trafficking – and that even goes for the legendary Los Tigres del Norte.

The famed norteño group sang what has been categorized as a “narcorridos” ballad at a weekend concert at a cattle expo in Ciudad Juarez – the capital of Mexico’s Chihuahua state, and has been indefinitely banned from playing the city.

The Chihuahua city government said the band violated a three-month-old ordinance prohibiting narcorridos and the concert’s organizers would be fined at least 20,000 pesos, or $1,585. Los Tigres said they were surprised at the ban, not knowing an ordinance was in place.

The song was “La Reyna del Sur” (“The Queen of the South”), believed to reference female drug capos like Sandra Avila Beltran, known as the Queen of the Pacific. The Sinaloa cartel queenpin is being held for extradition to the U.S. for money laundering and illegal weapons possession.

Los Tigres is one of the most famous bands of South America with hits like “Contrabando y Traicion” (Contraband and Betrayal) and “Jefe de Jefes” (Boss of Bosses). It canceled an appearance at an awards ceremony in 2009 after organizers allegedly asked them to not play “La Granja” (The Farm), a song lampooning government officials.

Gunmen recently burst into a barbershop in Chihuahua and shot to death five young men, including one who was getting a haircut at the time, officials said.

Narcorridos have become so prominent, they’ve crossed into popular television shows like “Breaking Bad.”