The new generation of Mexican cartel members embraces the Trapino Narcocorido

  • A new generation of drugs takes over some of Mexico’s most powerful criminal groups.
  • They are bringing some changes in the drug trade, including new music to celebrate their exploits.
  • Their “drug lanes” are now defined by Trapteño, a trap mixture of American origin and Mexican norteño.

Culiacan, Mexico – A new generation of drugs is taking charge of the old guard in some of Mexico’s most powerful criminal organizations, and they’re bringing a new kind of music with them to celebrate their exploits.

In the mountains of the state of Sinaloa in northwestern Mexico, during a final gathering of the Grupo Flecha (“Arrow Group”), the elite paramilitary army that protects the infamous Sinaloa Cartel kingpin Ishmael “Mayo” ZambadaThe speakers tuned into distinct music about the drug stories that Zambada and others of his generation had made famous.

“We are people of a man in a hat, taking care of our weed,” words mixed with trombone on the base of hip-hop, in Spanish. “We are the advantage of my comrades.”

Historically, the regional Mexican style of folk music is known as drug lane It was used by drug dealers to celebrate their exploits or to tell the stories of those who died defending their land.

Musicians Norteño Mexico Funeral Cemetery

Nortino musicians wait to offer their services for funerals at a cemetery in the state of Mexico in June 2020.

Alfredo Estrella/AFP via Getty Images


But now the 12-string guitars and accordions that characterize narco-corridos are being replaced by hip-hop drums and the loud synchronization of “Trapteño,” a blend of American-origin hip-hop from trap and norteño, a style that originated in rural Mexico.

This music was the result of the Sinaloa Cartel jacks [contacts] In Atlanta, where trap music first went viral,” one of the Flechas leaders told Insider.

Speaking, the leader said, “The Sinaloa gang has a lot of connections in Atlanta, and the lives of the people in Culiacan and the people in Atlanta are not that different. Drugs, girls, the mafia – we connected with that.” Anonymous for personal security reasons.

Although the musical style is new, the lyrics are very similar, telling stories highlighting the exploits of famous drug lords, describing murders, and detailing how gang leaders rose to the top of their business.

“On the old farm, life got tough and I had to move out. My mother gave me her blessing and I got a Glock,” says the lyrics to one song by composer and singer Emmanuel Masso, aka “El Enfermo. “

Masso believes that a new generation needs a new way of dealing with old tales, but the connection with the old Mexican drug country remains.

“People need to listen to new ways of saying how we live and die in Sinaloa,” Masu said, as they are on the “front lines of this monster.”

The Flechas captain interviewed in Sinaloa state said the younger generation is not leaving behind old drug lanes, but rather that Trapteño makes them feel like a more modern group.

“If you look at us,” said the commander, using a term for military uniforms, “we don’t dress like the old days, with hats and boots. We wear boots and shirts or plaico.”

While style may change, these narcotic tales matter in the world in which Mexican criminal groups live, according to Juan Carlos Ramirez, a professor at San Diego State University and one of the few experts on the drug corridor.

Joaquin El Chapo Guzman is a drug addict

MP3 files from “narco-corridos” about Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán’s escape and recovery at a market in Monterrey, Mexico, in January 2016.

Julio Cesar Aguilar/AFP via Getty Images


“These songs have a strong influence among the cartels,” Ramirez told Insider. “One of the first things a criminal organization would order after it fights with another group is to summon singers and ban the names of their enemies from their songs.”

Ramirez added that the songs offer a different – and perhaps more accurate – version of what is happening within Mexico’s criminal underworld.

“Usually an official record is a lie. That’s why it’s important to have a different record, to compare versions and finally find the truth,” Ramirez said, adding that the new musical style will have an impact on younger generations outside this underworld. .

“This attracts a younger audience,” Ramirez said. “They find the music appealing and end up falling for lyrics in celebration of a drug boss or an entire group.”

The emergence of a new species more appealing to the younger generation may also be a troubling sign: For years now, drug cartels have been recruiting younger Mexicans, and sometimes children, as guards, dealers, and even fighters.

Mexico Music Nortino Jukebox Accordion Tijuana

A member of the group Herederos de la Frontera, which plays traditional Norteño-style ballads, at a club in Tijuana in July 2008.

Don Bartlett/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images


There may be about 30,000 children already working in cartels in Mexico and about 250,000 more who could be recruited over the next few years, according to the Child Rights Network in Mexico, or REDIM.

“Children enter these criminal organizations at a very young age – [it] “They could be around 9 years old — eventually starting to take on more responsibilities and being promoted to more dangerous tasks like human trafficking or home stash searches,” REDIM director Tanya Ramirez told Insider.

On top of this new generation of drugs The “drug kids” they follow Their parents are in business. their upbringing within the cartels, and Reputation and lifestyles of their parentsIt made them smarter but also more aggressive, underworld sources say.

“These juniors – sons of Guzmáns but also grandchildren of other drug chiefs – are using their names to operate openly in Sinaloa without any consequences,” said a Sinaloa Cartel member in Culiacán, the group’s home. “They’re new trash, smarter but also more violent. They grew up around guns and murder, that’s obvious.”

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