Lawmakers in Sinaloa have proposed banning narco ballads and reggaeton music in schools, arguing that they send “decadent messages” to children and adolescents.
The bill presented to the state Congress by Morena Deputies Pedro Alonso Villegas Lobo and Apolinar García Carrera states that school festivals should celebrate Sinaloan folklore rather than songs and dances that “denigrate children and adolescents” with their “erotic, sexual, hateful, discriminatory, misogynistic and homophobic” content.
Narco ballads, or narcocorridos in Spanish, is a subgenre of Mexican norteño music that glorifies and seeks to humanize drug traffickers, while reggaeton, a musical style that originated in Puerto Rico, is infamous for its highly sexualized lyrics.
The proposal to ban the two styles of music is based on a study carried out by researchers at the University of Helsinki in Finland that established that listening to reggaeton can lead to sexually aggressive behavior, eating disorders, low self-esteem, consumption of drugs and depression among young people.
Villegas and García say the study shows that young people are particularly vulnerable to being led astray by external influences that send different messages from those sent by authority figures such as teachers and parents.
Reggaeton lyrics can cause boys to see their female classmates as “mere sexual objects” and consequently behave aggressively towards them, they said.
“Young people are very prone to being induced, they’re at a stage when they can be easily persuaded by what’s in their environment, and these kinds of lyrics, these kinds of music that lead them to having a narco culture, a culture in which it’s very natural to abuse women, we’re against that,” Villegas said.
The bill doesn’t yet propose specific penalties that school principals and teachers could face if they don’t follow the law but Villegas said they will be added at a later date. Sanctions could include dismissal or even criminal charges, he said.
The deputy predicted that the proposal will become law because it is supported by all Morena lawmakers in Sinaloa and the party has a majority in the state Congress.
The northern state, especially the capital Culiacán, is considered a hub of Mexico’s narco culture.
It is the home of the notorious Sinaloa Cartel, which was formerly led by recently-convicted drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán.