Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Mexican singer slain in hospital while recovering from gunshot wounds

Target of drug lords in Mexico: Policemen, mayors, reporters, and pop singers?

MEXICO CITY - A Mexican singer was shot to death in her hospital bed, police said Monday, the fourth time in a year assailants have killed performers of a popular northern music whose lyrics often focus on drug trafficking and violence.

Zayda Pena, 28, was shot in the heart Saturday in the city of Matamoros, across the border from Brownsville, Texas, while recovering from a gunshot wound to the neck received on Friday, police detective Abel Infante said.

No suspects had been identified. Two people with Pena were killed in the Friday shooting.

Pena headed a band known as Zayda y los Culpables — "Zayda and the Guilty Ones." One of her songs was "Tiro de Gracia," a reference to an execution-style gunshot.

Also Monday, the newspaper El Universal reported that at least one member of the band "K-Paz de la Sierra" had been kidnapped on Saturday by armed men after leaving a performance in the western state of Michoacan.

Law enforcement authorities in Michoacan said they could not confirm that report, but the band did cancel a scheduled news conference on Monday in Mexico City. The group's publicist, Cristina Gonzalez, said she had no information on any kidnapping and attributed the cancellation to "travel reasons."

Some musicians in northern Mexico write songs called "narco corridos," which focus on the exploits of drug traffickers. Pena's songs were mostly romantic ballads.

Several "gruperos" have been slain in recent months.

On Nov. 25, 2006, Valentin Elizalde was shot to death along with his manager and driver shortly after performing across the border from McAllen, Texas. Police are investigating a possible link between Elizalde's killing and a grisly video posted online that was set to one of his songs, "To My Enemies."

Last December, Javier Morales Gomez of the band Los Implacables del Norte was shot to death in a park in Michoacan, a state plagued by drug-related gunbattles, killings and beheadings. Police have not spoken of a motive in that case.

In February, gunmen shot to death four members of the Banda Fugaz after they performed in Michoacan

Mexican singer slain in hospital while recovering from gunshot wounds


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