Culiacan: Capital of the Narco-corrido Erupts into Flames After their “Prince” is Captured

Culiacán, Sinaloa, Mexico is known as the capital of the corrido, or Marco-corridos, in Mexico. With many famous Norteño And Banda groups coming out of this small city in Mexico, many write famous and powerful ballads to the drug lords that have been in control of Culiacán for decades. Culiacán had already been known for its “narco infested” streets and “narco culture” that thrived in the city, however, no one thought much of it until October 17, 2019, the day the son of Joaquin “el Chapo Guzmán’s son, Ovidio Guzmán López, got captured by the Mexican National Guard. Also known as “Black Thursday,” the city of Culiacán and all of the members pertaining to the Sinaloa cartel brought the power of the cartel down onto the Mexican authorities and single-handedly took the down the national guard to free their prince from captivity.

After seeing this, the world could not ignore the immense power that cartels, specifically the Sinaloa cartel, has over the people and the government in Mexico. Instead of people fighting against the cartels, many musicians and artistic composed songs memorizing this day and glorifying the actions that the Sinaloa cartel made on this day, such as “Soy El Raton” by Código FN. This song became a very popular hit in both the United States and Mexico as it has had over 77 million reproductions on Spotify alone. Other Marco-corridos, such as “JGL” by Luis R Conriquez, “El Fugitivo” by Grupo Arriesgado, are songs that have gained a lot of popularity amongst the youth and adults in Mexico for their glorification of the narco lifestyle and culture that the Sinaloa cartel imposes in Culiacán.

Not only has this type of violence and power affected the city of Culiacán, but it has also influenced other cartels to react in the same manner whenever one of their leaders gets captured in hopes that they have the same success as their rivals. The Nueva Generación Jalisco Cartel had the same reaction when one of their head bosses got captured by bringing not just one city to flames but multiple cities throughout Mexico until their leader was freed. Many people think narco-corridos are just songs that people listen to when they have a drink or at a party, but many do not realize the power and influence that this type of culture gives to cartels in Mexico. Cartels began to fill invincible and now think they can act however they wish without any repercussions. In January of 2023, Ovidio Guzmán López was successfully captured but it was not an easy task. After hearing their leader was captured, the Sinaloa Cartel brought hell onto the city of Culiacán but failed to save their prince a second time.

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David Monjaraz

9 thoughts on “Culiacan: Capital of the Narco-corrido Erupts into Flames After their “Prince” is Captured

  1. Growing up I was surrounded by all different types of Spanish music and narco-corridos was by far my least favorite. My parents would tell me about the harm that that type of music caused when they were growing up. Despite being young I knew what the songs were about and I knew that it felt wrong to glamorize the cartels and the atrocities that they commit against the citizens of Mexico of a daily basis. To this day I will never understand the appeal of this type of music.

  2. Narco-Corridos have definitely become more popular over the years and growing up in a Hispanic background has caused me to be exposed to this type of music from a very young age. I feel that, yes, there should be certain age restrictions for this type of songs because of what they say, but I don’t think there should be anything that prevents this type of music from being produced. This is mainly due to the fact that many of the creators of these types of music have their hands tied when creating these songs. It is often the cartels themselves that force these artists to create these types of songs by threat. With that said, I do agree that these songs bring praise rather than consequences towards cartels, but at the same time, what would you do if you were put in the artists’ shoes?

  3. Narco Corridos has evolved over the past years. I think it is important to understand that they don’t only mean music but in reality most of them narrate the life of many famous drug dealers. The power that this type of music has caused in both USA and Mexico is very impressing. I often see younger generations singing this type of music, I can’t help to wonder if they are aware of what it narrating or if they completely understand its point. I do argue that music a a very positive method of expressing your opinions or thoughts but I can’t help to wonder if younger generations should be hearing this and if it can potentially influence them to similar actions in the future.

  4. Narco Corridos has evolved over the past years. I think it is important to understand that they don’t only mean music but in reality most of them narrate the life of many famous drug dealers. The power that this type of music has caused in both USA and Mexico is very impressing. I often see younger generations singing this type of music, I can’t help to wonder if they are aware of what it narrating or if they completely understand its point. I do argue that music a a very positive method of expressing your opinions or thoughts but I can’t help to wonder if younger generations should be hearing this and if it can potentially influence them to similar actions in the future.

  5. Narco Corridos are defintely a big deal in Mexico and the culture of Mexico but, it is quite shocking how involved the artists get involved wiith the cartel. Artists many times have to play private shows just for the cartles and their families because the cartel will threaten to kill their families if they do not. Popular Mexican artist who is rising to fame, from Narco Corridos, Peso Pluma, sings about the Prince of the Cartel El Chapo’s son in many songs and regularly performs for the Sinola cartel. For the singers defense it is better to be a friend of the cartel then not to be one. Peso Pluma and many others are making millions singing about the cartel that is hurting the country but, to them it is just work and their art. Narco Corridos are defintely a way the cartels feel more important but, what can the artists do when many times their life is on the line with the cartel.

  6. Narco Corridos is a way musical artists talk about what is going on in their country and cities in Mexico but, it is quite shocking how involved the artists get involved with the cartel. Artists many times have to play private shows just for the cartels and their families because the cartel will threaten to kill their families if they do not. Popular Mexican artist Peso Pluma, sings about the Prince of the cartel El Chapo’s son in many songs and regularly performs for the Sinola cartel because, in Mexico it is far better to be a friend of the cartel then to not be one. Peso Pluma and many others make millions of dollars sinigng about the cartel that is hurting the country but, many of them claim it is just work. In the end, Narco corridos are definitely a way the cartels feel more important but, what can the artists do when many times they are being threatened with their life

  7. Hello, an interesting point has been made regarding the art of narco corridos. The culture of narco corridos not only in a way celebrates drug cartels and the leaders that run them but also expresses the frustrations of the people towards the easily influenced, corrupt government. However, the genre itself is not bad perse because many of the people that listen it to are not some form of criminals. Although Sinaloa is known to be the center-point of the Sinaloa Cartel, many people generally feel safe because typically the cartel will not mess with humble citizens who are trying to make a living from honest work.

  8. Narco corridos are a very prominent genre in the musical world of Mexico. Not only do they serve to immortalize the actions of cartel members, but also as a way for communities to express their frustrations towards the government. These ballads do glorify the violent actions of cartel members, but it’s never the cartel members making the songs. This means that the people in the community have some type of appreciation towards the cartel because they decide to honor them with music. People who listen to these narco-corridos aren’t violent people, I listen to narco-corridos because it describes events that go on in Mexico. Narco-corridos is an interesting genre that has two sides to it.

  9. Hello David, hope all is well with you. It’s very interesting how the practice of art, in this case, creating music intersects with the “Narco culture.” If you think about it, the music only popularizes what the Narcos do, and it gives them respect instead of bringing them to justice. It’s very interesting how much art impacts culture.

    Another thing I enjoy is that you primarily focus on Culiacán, Sinaloa. Having family from there, I feel like it’s justifiable to say that the Narcos have an impact on their everyday lives. It’s funny because I have family in Mexico and whenever I visit them there are a lot of militarized police in the city. I clearly remember a time when there was a police truck with armed forces in the back and then the music they were playing was some corrido about Narcos. I thought it was hilarious because they’re supporting the art that respects what they’re trying to fight against.

    If art has such an impact on Narco culture then do you think it’s possible to bring it to an end with the support of music? For example, would music shaming Narcos have an impact as significant? Or would this lead to more conflict due to the drug trafficking groups’ power?

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