The fiestas of Mexico’s drug lords are infamously decadent and infamously clandestine. Mexico’s most wanted narcotics king, El Chapo Guzman, still parties like he didn’t hide himself in a laundry cart and break out of prison just a few years ago.
But now a potentially innocent civilian may have gotten caught in the indulgent frenzy of the drug-rich. Popular norteño accordionist and songwriter Ramon Ayala was detained by the Mexican military after being discovered as the headline performer at a party held by the Beltran Leyva cartel, whose leader Arturo Beltran Leyva was recently killed by the army. Ayala claims to not have known he was being hired by the cartel (or he may been coerced into the gig by threats of violence — who says no to the drug cartels?), and Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission is now on the case to prevent any abuses to the Grammy Award-winning musician.
Photo of Ayala’s house in Hidalgo, Texas via Jess Merrill Photography