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Narcocorrido Essay

2307 words - 10 pages


Alexander P. Myers
HY 377
Dr. Steven Bunker
November 7, 2013

The facets of Mexican life that can be studied through the corrido are practically unlimited, and these ballads can be used as historical documents of important aspects of modern Mexican and Chicano life, as well as of the daily trials and tribulations of the pueblo the popular or common classes. Narcocorridos have and can be a positive to Mexican culture. The same cannot be said about its growing influence in American culture. In respect to historical significance of traditional Mexican corrido influences, narcocorridos provide a view of public/popular opinion not otherwise found in the media or ...view middle of the document...

This style of music has progressed from simple folk songs to a form of mass media allowing news of social and political stirrings to be spread among rural towns and villages.
After the war against Spain, corridos started to be written about outlaws and thieves. During the Porfirian Paradigm, Porfirio Diaz’s rurales (Rural Guard mounted police) committed outrages against humble village folk caused strong class distinctions between the citizens of Mexico. Men who fled from Diaz robbed the rich, gave to the poor, and became the first heroes of Mexican corridos. Hero corridos were created during a proletarian period, providing hope and encouragement to the lower class. Around the same time these new corridos started addressing economic disparity and problems arising from the US Mexican Border. Border corridos were written about conflicts between Mexicans and Anglos in the lower area of Texas. Issues around the border go back as far as the 1800’s and still stand as a source of conflict today.
Transition of the corridos into narcocorrido began in the early 1970’s and continues to this day. One of the more famous hero border corridos is El Corrido de Gregorio Cortez. Americo Paredes illustrates the story of Gregorio Cortez (1875-1916) as a rancher in Texas who became wanted by the law for killing the Sheriff who had shot his brother over a misunderstanding about a stolen mare
Downes, Lawrence New York Times (1923-Current file); Aug 16, 2009; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times (1851-2009) pg. TR1
("Pistol" 95-97). The corrido tells of Cortez’s flight and soon capture by police. Cortez served time in jail and eventually received a pardon (Paredes, "Pistol" 97). Through El Corrido Cortez became a legend and hero for the repressed people under Diaz’s rule and for Mexicans living across the border in Texas. El Corrido is just one of the many corridos musician that help bring to light the injustices that Mexican people faced at and around the border. Hero corridos honor the men who suffered at the hand of oppressors and help keep the memory of those heroes alive. These songs in a way immortalize the hero or main characters of the story. It is through El Corrido that Gregorio Cortez’s story remains alive today.
During the 1970’s drug trafficking throughout Mexico and on the US border was becoming increasingly popular. The living culture and lifestyle of narcocorridos included drugs, guns, and money which are entirely different than traditional Mexican corrido ballads. Narcocorridos contain profane language, focus on drugs, violence, and feature real drug dealers and criminals. These new corridos represented the voice of powerful drug dealers and cartels to be heard throughout all of Mexico. Some historians believe Mexican government officials tolerate this new explicative genre of music because it holds an importance significance in Mexicans historical culture.

Wald, Elijah. Narcocorrido: a journey into the music of drugs, guns,...

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