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El Chapo’s Escape Inspires Countless Narcocorridos


I had two thoughts go through my head when I first heard about Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman’s daring escape from prison. 1) Man, Mexican jail security sucks and 2) This escape is going to inspire so many narcocorridos. And I was right on both counts. In case you don’t know, let me explain what a narcocorrido is. It’s sort of like the Mexican version of gangsta rap. They are songs that celebrate the exploits of the drug cartels. They see the cartels as fighters against the forces of the government and the Church. It’s sort of like saying that the cartels are modern day Robin Hoods. El Chapo has been the subject of narcocorridos before but now he’s become a muse to many bands. It’s easy to see why. The guy is like a Bond villain. Who actually escapes from prison in a homemade tunnel? Is he Will E. Coyote? Here is an example from Calibre 50’s song “Se Quedaron A Tres Pasos.”

“There’s a reason he’s a legend
Impossible to catch
They say he escaped by land
Others that he left by sea
He keeps giving them war
Don’t look for him in La Paz (peace)
They stayed three steps away
Three steps from Guzmán
They looked for him in Los Cabos
But he was already in Culiacán”


Some people would object to a criminal like El Chapo being glorified in such a way. While it is disturbing, it’s not surprising. People have always had a fascination with criminals, especially ones that make the government look stupid. Not just in Mexico, either. Think about America’s love of Bonnie and Clyde, John Dillinger, or John Gotti. It’s an odd phenomenon but one that I doubt is going away anytime soon.

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