Mexican Government Cracks Down On Radio Stations

The Mexican government has punished 71 radio stations since 2001 for playing narcocorridos, according to an investigation by Mexico's Milenio newspaper.

The country's office of Radio, Television and Cinematography has reportedly issued fines, reprimands and warnings to stations in such areas as Sonora, Sinaloa, Guanajuato, Colima, San Luis Potosí and Mexico City. In doing so, the government has cited a 1961 law against broadcasting material that "corrupts language and is contrary to good customs through malicious expressions, obscene words or images, phrases and scenes with double meanings, apology for violence or crime."

Milenio reports that the first radio company to be fined over narcocorridos was San Luis Potosí's Enlaces Audiovisuales in 2003. That same year, Radio Sistemas del Bajío and Ciudad Juarez' XHIM were each reportedly fined over 21,000 pesos (about $1,600 U.S. today).

As the Mexican government has ramped up its war against drug cartels, other targeted radio companies have included Hermosillo's XEHOS-AM, Colima's XHCC, Radio Triunfos, Radio Organización Pram, Radio Integral, Administradora Arcángel, Radio Comunicaciones Alrey, Radio Radio Libertad, Radio BMP, Radio Integral and Radio La Voz de Linares. At least one on-air host, Julián Orozco González from XHRGO FM 104.7 Radio Cañaveral in Tala, Jalisco, has also been reprimanded for playing narcocorrido hits.

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