For BSA Programs, Banks Must Assess the Risks of Bands that Praise Mexico’s Cartels

By Colby Adams

With tubas, accordions and keyboards, Mexico's norteño folk corrido singers may seem far from the violent cartels that dominate the nation's news. But a subgenre of the musicians, who play on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border, make their living glamorizing drug smuggling, and possibly participating in the trade as well. Like some American hip-hop artists, narcocorrido balladeers can profit by praising crime in their songs without living the lifestyle. They can also have direct links to Mexican drug cartels, at times taking their money and potentially helping to launder dirty funds, according to Anthony Coulson, former head of the...