December 7, 2007

Mexican Entertainment Violence

I have not heard about this "Wave of Entertainment Violence" in Mexico, but it sounds like our neighbors to the south are spinning more and more out of control.

Sergio Gomez, 35, was killed last weekend after performing with his top-selling group, K-Paz de la Sierra, in Morelia, Mexico.

Gomez enjoyed regular airplay on Indianapolis-based Spanish-language radio station WEDJ-FM (107.1).

"He was very popular," said Russ Dodge, general manager of WEDJ. "We're all sick about it."

His music was fashionable in cities from Chicago, where K-Paz made its first recordings, to Morelia, the capital of Mexico's western state of Michoacan. Five of the band's albums have reached the Top 10 on Billboard magazine's Latin music chart.

Visitation will be from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday at Stevens Mortuary on Indianapolis' west side. His body will be cremated after the visitation, said funeral director Sarah Arnold. Gomez had lived in Avon, just west of Indianapolis.

Hundreds of people mourned Gomez on Tuesday in his hometown of Ciudad Hidalgo in Michoacan. About 200 more also gathered in Mexico City, where Gomez's body was transported Tuesday night.

A wave of organized crime violence terrorizing many parts of Mexico is driving fear into the heart of the entertainment business with the murders of several popular musicians.

Although not known for songs glamorizing the drug business, Gomez had reportedly received death threats urging him not to appear in the capital of Michoacan, a hotbed of the drug trade where he was tortured before being strangled Sunday.

Some fear that singers, whether they have any links to drug cartels or not, are routinely "adopted" by drug gangs, which post Internet videos showing their members torturing and executing rivals to soundtracks of popular tunes.

Gomez had lived in Indiana since 2003.

Update: Another musician killed in Mexico... a trumpet player this time.

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