Earlier this week, Mexican balladeer Sergio “El Shaka” Vega was shot dead in Sinaloa state, a casualty of the local drug wars that supplied him with his lyrical material.

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At some times, in some places, a singer takes his life in the same hand as his microphone. Earlier this week, Mexican balladeer Sergio “El Shaka” Vega was shot dead in Sinaloa state, a casualty of the local drug wars that supplied him with his lyrical material.

Vega sang songs called “narcocorridos”: lurid chronicles of Sinaloa’s wealthy, ruthless cocaine barons. It is a high-risk occupation: several of the region’s singers have met similarly grim ends in the last few years. Ironically only last weekend Vega had denied a rumour that we was dead.

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