MEXICO CITY (AP) -- A wave of organized crime violence terrorizing many parts of Mexico is driving fear into the heart of the entertainment business with the murders of several popular musicians, suggesting no one is immune to the rampant brutality.
Most disquieting were the weekend slayings of two singers who had crooned only about love and loss, not drugs and guns like some "narcocorrido" celebrities killed in the past.
The murders of Sergio Gomez, lead performer for the top-selling group K-Paz de la Sierra, and Zayda Pena of the group Zayda and the Guilty Ones has mainstream singers worrying they may become targets by becoming identified with one or another of Mexico's warring drug gangs.
"What can I say? We are dismayed about this. I mean, we are all in the same boat," said Javier Diaz, representative of Los Tucanes del Norte, a popular group that often poses with assault rifles to promote its songs and violence-filled videos.
Elijah Wald, author of the book "Narcocorrido," said the musicians' fears may be justified.
"They've just kidnapped and murdered a major international star traveling with bodyguards," he said, referring to Gomez. "That is a very clear message: `We can get anybody.'"
and more details about Peña's murder here:
MEXICO CITY — Apart from the police and narco-gangsters, few groups of people have suffered more in Mexico's brutal drug wars than the singers whose music often chronicles the carnage.
The latest casualty appears to be Zayda Peña, 28, a singer who was shot dead Saturday in a hospital emergency room in Matamoros, across the Rio Grande from Brownsville.
An assassin put two bullets into Peña shortly after she emerged from emergency surgery for a gunshot wound to the back she received the day before in a motel where she was staying.
Although police said they had no suspects or motive for the killing, it seemed a classic gangland-style slaying.
Two people — a friend of Peña's and the motel manager — were killed in the initial attack on her, shortly before midnight Friday.....
and more broadly, here as well
...Although one of her songs is titled "Tiro de Gracia," or "Coup de Grace," the term used for the final shot to the brain in an execution-style killing, Peña's songs mostly focus on romance.
Peña's death came little more than a year after singer Valentin Elizalde was killed in Reynosa, 60 miles upriver from Matamoros, shortly after a concert.
In February, four members of a grupero band were killed after a show in Michoacán, where much of this year's gangland violence has occurred. Another grupero singer was gunned down there last December.
Mexican newspapers last weekend reported that the lead singer of yet another band disappeared Saturday, along with two businessmen, after a performance in Morelia, the Michoacán state capital.
Matamoros and other cities bordering far South Texas are the home turf of the Gulf Cartel.