Entertainment

The Days Of Primetime Narco-Dramas In Mexico Might Be Numbered

CREDIT: NARCOS / INSTAGRAM

In a country plagued by cartel violence, it should come as no surprise that some Mexican lawmakers are looking remove “narconovelas” from the country’s primetime television schedule. Lawmakers argue that airing shows like “La Reina Del Sur” and “El Señor de los Cielos” before midnight is a violation of the guidelines established by the Federal Telecommunications and Broadcasting Law – guidelines that are supposed to prevent excessive sexual themes and violence from airing during primetime. Sexuality and violence are the bread and butter of any good narconovela.

Lawmakers worry that children may be exposed to explicit content if the shows air before midnight.

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CREDIT: LAREINADELSURTV / INSTAGRAM

In an interview with Radio Formula, Zoé Robledo, President of Mexico’s Senate Commission of Radio and Television, stated that he does not want to “ban” these shows. He just wants them moved to a more “appropriate” hour. By airing these shows at midnight or later, children are less likely to be exposed to shows where crime is glorified and bad guys are seen as heroes.

Conservative activists worry narconovelas are ruining the moral fabric of society.

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CREDIT: ELSENORDELOSCIELOS / INSTAGRAM

Francisco González, president of the activist group “In Favor Of The Best,” has raised concerns that narconovelas aren’t just damaging to children. In Mexico, a country where people own more televisions that refrigerators, narconovelas have the potential to “influence the conduct and the aspirations of millions of Mexicans.” Francisco is also concerned that these shows are turning tragedy into profit, a sentiment echoed by other narconovela critics.


Read: This Is The Real-Life Narco Queen Who Inspired “La Reina Del Sur”

This isn’t the first time narco-based entertainment has faced criticism.

CREDIT: BREAKING BAD / AMC

In 2011, the state of Chihuahua outright banned narcocorridos, which they doubled down on in 2015. People caught singing or distributing tributes to cartels are subject to fines of $20,000 and possible jail time served. The states of Sinaloa and Coahuila also laid down restrictions for the narco-based music in 2015. Some argue that these government restrictions are just symbolic, considering how much violence remains in these regions.

Love or hate it, narconovelas represent trend in entertainment that can’t be ignored.

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CREDIT: armenzales_32 / Instagram

As traditional telenovelas drop in popularity, narconovelas have swept in to pick up the slack. The content is gritty, dramatic, action packed, and based around events that dominate national headlines. When El Chapo was arrested in January, DVDs of the popular “La Reina Del Sur” were found in his home, a ringing endorsement if ever there was one. Their appeal is obvious even if the subject matter leaves politicians and conservatives concerned. And as long as the popularity of these shows exists, networks won’t give up their primetime shows without a fight.

READ: As Someone Who Grew Up In Colombia This Is Why It’s Really Difficult To Watch ‘Narcos’

Kate Del Castillo Talks Playing Teresa, Not Being Able To Shoot In Mexico, And More About The Return ‘La Reina Del Sur”

Entertainment

Kate Del Castillo Talks Playing Teresa, Not Being Able To Shoot In Mexico, And More About The Return ‘La Reina Del Sur”

Courtesy of Telemundo and Netflix

Television audiences have spoken and Telemundo has listened. Almost a decade after Kate del Castillo captivated audiences in Telemundo’s mega telenovela hit ‘La Reina del Sur’ back in 2011, the actress reprises the role as Teresa Mendoza for the show’s sophomore season. Here’s why del Castillo is excited to be back as Teresa.

Telemundo Global Studios and Netflix have teamed up to co-produce this telenovela eight years after Teresa first appeared on TV screens.

@reinadelsurtv / Instagram

In the second season of “La Reina del Sur,” Teresa is now a mother with a daughter of her own who is under the protection of the Federal Witness Protection Program. Teresa and her daughter live in the idyllic Italian village of Massa Marittima in Tuscany.

But her past comes back to haunt her when her daughter is kidnapped in broad daylight. Teresa, like all mothers, will risk even her own life to get her daughter back.

Del Castillo spoke to mitú in an exclusive telephone interview on her main reason for coming back on the show.

@reinadelsurtv / Instagram

Although del Castillo said “executives of Telemundo were always flirting with the idea of a second part,” she said she felt it was a plot line that should be left alone since there was no second book by its creator, former Spanish journalist and current novelist Arturo Pérez-Reverte.

However, after the show’s massive success (Telemundo has called it its biggest telenovela hit), Pérez-Reverte was excited to do a second part—and del Castillo said she signed onboard only because its creator would be at the helm.

Now that Teresa is a mother in the second season, that didn’t stop del Castillo from connecting to the role despite not having any kids of her own. She said, “all women have that part in us.” 

Acting as a mother is something that del Castillo is familiar with.

@reinadelsurtv / Instagram

It was easy for the actress to reconnect with the emotions that she has prepared for being a mother in the past. “It’s something that comes easy to me,” del Castillo said.

Contrary to what most people think, Teresa is not actually based off of the life of Mexican drug cartel leader Sandra Ávila Beltrán, “La Reina del Pacifico,“ but instead is inspired by Ávila Beltrán.  

Del Castillo admits that she feels intimately connected to the role of Teresa.

@reinadelsurtv / Instagram

“After 8 years, it’s been a long time. I know who Teresa is—she lives in me for so many reasons,” del Castillo said.

Over the show’s first season, Teresa grew from a humble and naïve young woman to a strong independent woman who made moves and took names in one of the most dangerous industries—the drug business.

A far cry from the telenovela soap operas of eras past where the quiet, pretty ingenue has to fall in love as a damsel in distress. Teresa took matters into her own hands, no matter how big the stakes were.

“She is so independent, not needing a man, not believing what people told her when she couldn’t do things. She fights for life, she is running her title,” del Castillo said of the character she portrays. 

“I think we all have that Teresa Mendoza inside of us, that empowers people. We don’t need any man to be happy and she proved that in so many ways—the thing is that she is in the wrong business,” del Castillo said. 

Teresa is known for striking a balance between femininity and being a tough drug lord boss—and that multidimensional character is what drew del Castillo to first play Teresa. 

“She is a human being because she is flawed and she commits mistakes and does terrible things, and that’s the way people relate to her. This is a character even men relate to. She thinks like a man but acts like a woman,” del Castillo said.

Despite the obvious difference between the actress and the character, del Castillo does connect with Teresa.

“Her strong independence, not taking sh*t from anybody, we’re both Mexican, and we both like tequila,” del Castillo admits.

Filming for the series took part in eight different countries, and one of the countries some scenes were set in was Mexico. Del Castillo says a double was used for her scenes in Mexico because she is unable to travel back to her home country. She was, however, able to travel to other locations, including Russia and Romania.

Now that shooting has wrapped and the show is premiering this month, del Castillo said it’s going to be hard to say goodbye to a character she related to and went through so much with. 

“I enjoy playing her in every single scene. I wish I could play her more even,” del Castillo ruminates. “I need to let go of characters, you make them yours in so many ways.”

La Reina del Sur will return to Telemundo in the U.S. and Puerto Rico on Monday, April 22. The show will be available globally on Netflix.

These 7 Narcocorridos Will Probably Piss You Off… Or Make You Dance

Entertainment

These 7 Narcocorridos Will Probably Piss You Off… Or Make You Dance

Corridos have been popular in Mexico for decades, but the sub-genre of narcocorridos has blown up over the last few years. Old folk stories have been overtaken by tales of drugs, death and vicious kingpins. And lots of those songs are graphic enough to make you go WTF!?

“El Primer Ministro” by Gerardo Ortiz

Credit: DEL Records/YouTube

Lyrics: “Me mantienen señalado pero no se han preguntado quien ayudara este pueblo como yo lo he ayudado. Lo recalco y lo repito y bien queda confirmado que seguire trabajando contra el poder del estado, esta no es una amenaza es un echo y lo he logrado.”

Translation: “I’m a marked man but they don’t ask themselves who will help this town the way I’ve helped it. I’ll reiterate it and repeat it – I’ll keep working against the power of the state. This isn’t a threat, it’s a fact and I’ve already done it.”

Ortiz pens an ode to Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán as if he is truly the Robin Hood of Sinaloa, Mexico.

“La Gallina de los Huevos” by Gonzalo Peña

CREDIT: Gonzalo Peña/YouTube

Lyrics: “Los errores de los grandes siempre ha sido una mujer.”

Translation: “The mistakes made by the greats always involve a woman.”

Once the news broke that actress Kate del Castillo was in contact with El Chapo, you knew a corrido was on its way. Gonzalo Peña’s corrido, “La Gallina de los Huevos,” says women are usually the downfall of great men. Excuse me? Women and del Castillo shouldn’t be blamed for every big mistake men make! Smuggling drugs is a HUGE mistake. And, Mr. Peña, there are lots of people who would disagree with your assertion that El Chapo is a “great man.”  In an interview with CNN, Peña says the song is a tribute to del Castillo for taking a big risk and meeting with El Chapo.

“Estrategias de Escape” by El Komander

CREDIT: marco gali/YouTube 

Lyrics: “Si el Señor no escapa háganlos pedazos disparen con rabia no pueden fallar.”

Translation: “If el Señor doesn’t escape, turn them into pieces, fire with rage, because you can’t fail.”

El Komander might just be the king of narcocorridos. Several states in Mexico have banned him from performing which led him take a hiatus from music in 2014. In one of his biggest songs, El Komander tells a story about El Chapo escaping authorities.

“El Corrido de la Barbie” by Roberto Tapia

Credit: eloxaco50/YouTube

Lyrics: “Para la mafia valor, pal enemigo balazos, pa cerebro es el negocio, pa las mujeres mis brazos, el costal pa los billetes, Colombia pal polvo blanco.”

Translation: “For the mafia, bravery. For enemies, bullets. Business is for the brain. For women, my arms. A bag for money and Colombia for cocaine.”

Tapia just gets straight to the point in these lyrics – women in la Barbie’s arms, trips to Colombia for cocaine and bullets for his enemies. Cartel kingpin “La Barbie” also made headlines as one of the highest-ranking U.S. citizens in El Chapo’s cartel. After breaking away from El Chapo and becoming his nemesis, La Barbie was arrested and extradited to the U.S.

“El Toro Pesado” by Grupo Exterminador

Lyrics: “Quiero llegar al infierno en troca y bien armado, cuando me reciba el diablo que sepa quien ha llegado, y le diga a sus colegas ahí viene un toro pesado.”

Translation: “I want to show up in hell well-armed in my truck, so when the devil greets me, he’ll know who’s arrived and he can tell his colleagues, ‘Here comes the big bull.'”

Grupo Exterminador tell the tale of a narco who knows exactly all the evil deeds he’s done – and proud of it.

“El Más Bravo de los Bravos” by Los Tucanes de Tijuana

Lyrics: “Un hombre muy peligroso, que no le teme ni al diablo, sonriendo jala el gatillo, disfruta de su trabajo, y siempre les dice a todos, yo soy hombre no payaso.”

Translation: “A very dangerous man, who has no fear of the devil, pulls the trigger with a smile, enjoys his work and always tells everyone, I’m a man, not a clown.”

The song literally sings the praises of Raydel Rosalio Lopez Uriarte, alias “Muletas,” a hit man from the Tijuana Cartel. GASP! Ay Dios Mio, it’s kind of sad the band that made of the best Mexican party dance songs is on this list. ? Not the same band who had us dancing la quebradita with “La Chona!” We guess all good things must come to an end.

“Los Sanguinarios del M1” by Movimiento Alterado

Credit: TwiinsCuliacanTV / YouTube

Lyrics: “Van y hacen pedazos, a gente a balazos, rafagas continuas, que no se terminan, cuchillo afilado, cuerno atravezado, para degollar.

Translation: “They turn people into pieces with bullets, continuous blasts of gunfire that never stop, a sharpened knife across an AK-47, ready to behead.”

The Movimiento Alterado crew had no reservations about using a song to describe graphic violence. After all, the song is about a group of “bloodthirsty” hitmen who worked for Manuel Torres Felix, aka El M1. Torture, beheadings – it’s all referenced with delight in “Los Sanguinarios del M1.”

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