The governor of the western Mexican state of Sinaloa, Mario Lopez Valdez, has issued a decree banning songs recounting the exploits and travails of drug lords, known as "narco ballads," from being performed or played at bars, taverns, nightclubs and banquet halls.

A top state official, Bernardo Cardenas, told Efe that the decree conditions renewal of those establishments' liquor license on their "not having sold, exhibited, shown or played music, videos, images or concerts that glorify criminals, anti-social behavior or illegal activities."

The measure is aimed at eradicating the so-called "narco-culture," which justifies and extols violence and is even more dangerous when mixed with alcoholic beverages, Cardenas said.

He said establishments that do not comply with the measure will not be fined but inspectors will take note of the violation and that will prevent them from renewing their liquor license.

It is worrying how deeply the "narco-culture" has penetrated Mexican society, Cardenas said, noting that polls show that when asked what they want to be when they grow up children say drug traffickers.

Confronting the drug-gang problem therefore involves promoting other values, sports and especially job creation so youth have other options besides organized crime.

The Sinaloa government had already signed an agreement with the Chamber of the Radio and Television Industry to remove all programming that promotes "false idols" and fosters or defends crime and violence.

Sinaloa is part of Mexico's drug-trafficking golden triangle along with the neighboring states of Durango and Chihuahua and is considered the cradle of the country's most notorious capos.


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