Censorship of the Praise of Crime
By Atención San Miguel
Camelia la Texana was the first narcocorrido (song about drug trafficking and other crimes). That song talks precisely about trafficking and betrayal between Emilio Varela and Camelia. There are hundreds of narcocorridos, like el Taquicardio or Mi padrino el Diablo—Evil, my grandfather. The city council is analyzing censorship of this type of lyric for the protection of children, they say.
Although article 208 of the Federal Criminal Code categorizes (implicitly) the narcocorrido as an apology of crime, stating that “those who publically provoke or commit a crime, or make an apology for this or any other vice or crime, will be punished with three years behind bars and fined up to 50 days of minimum wage,” still the lyrics are publicly reproduced by vendors of CDs.
Mi padrino el Diablo is a narcocorrido from the Banda Tracalosa. It tells the story of a child who grew up in a home environment of violence with a submissive mother who always watched and never acted. The character in these lyrics left his home but never went to school. He lived on the streets, and when he was about to die of thirst and hunger, “Suddenly something strange happened. A buddy touched my shoulder and told me, ‘I am the Devil, and I just scared death away from you,’ In the lyrics, in exchange for his soul, the Devil—a cartel member—grants him luxuries and pleasures.
“Taquicardio” is another example of the hundreds of songs like this that can be found when searching indiscriminately on line.
In San Miguel, city councilor Jaime Martínez Tapia explained that he conducted an investigation in the tianguis, a public space regulated by the local administration for the sale of all kinds of items. He found out that narcocorridos and other lyrics are invitations to crime and other vices and are played by the vendors. For that reason he decided to propose censorship of the reproduction of this music. He also did it because there are dozens of children at this tianguis who should be protected. The proposal is being analyzed by the city council because if it is accepted, the market regulations would have to be reformed.
City councilor Martínez Tapia noted that the Public Services Department has not been working to make the vendors fulfill article 19 of the market regulations, which specify the basic conditions of sanity for selling food. He said that an inspection should be done in these places. On the other hand, Mayor Ricardo Villarreal said that a campaign of awareness was better, covering not just those vendors in public spaces but also those in private places. The mayor’s proposal was accepted with 12 votes of 12.
City councilor Martinez also proposed censorship of the exhibition, reproduction, and sale of pornography in public places; that proposition is also being analyzed.