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Missing band members found dead in a well

January 30, 2013

The bodies of 14 missing musicians were among 17 corpses found in a well in Nuevo Leon this week.

The dead have been identified as musicians and crew members of the band Kombo Kolombia, who were kidnapped by ten armed men after performing at a ranch in the town of Hidalgo last Thursday night.

Police said one of the band members escaped from the kidnappers and led them to the well where the others had been buried. The bodies showed bullet wounds and signs of torture, while the escapee had also been beaten but was said to be in a stable condition.

The motive for the attack is unclear, but it it thought one survivor may have been allowed to escape in order to notify the police and the media of the victims’ fate.

Being a professional musician can be a risky occupation in Mexico, with drug gangs having murdered a number of artists in recent years. Those most commonly targeted are singers of drug ballads known as “narcocorridos,” norteño or banda style songs which celebrate the exploits of famous drug lords.

One of the most infamous cases in recent years was the killing of Valentin Elizalde, who wrote narcocorridos eulogizing the likes of Juarez Cartel boss Vicente Carrillo Fuentes.

He was murdered by an alleged member of the Zetas cartel after performing a provocative song entitled “To My Enemies” at a concert in Reynos, Tamaulipas in 2006.

The following year, K-Paz de la Sierra singer Sergio Gomez was kidnapped after a concert in Michoacan, with his tortured and strangled body found several days later.

Then in 2010, narcocorrdio singer Sergio “El Shaka” Vega was shot dead on his way to a perform at a village festival in Sinaloa. The killing occurred just hours after Vega had denied online rumors of his death.

Unlike these artists, Kombo Kolombia played Colombian-style cumbia and did not perform narcocorridos. However, they were known for playing regularly in several bars in downtown Monterrey that were recently attacked by gunmen.

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