Mexico: Trouble in Culiacán

In the last several years, at least one dozen Mexican norteño musicians have been murdered in a wave of violence bearing the brazenness and brutality of Mexico's drug cartels. Most of the victims performed what are known as "narcocorridos," popular folk songs that tell the stories of the Mexican drug trade — and, depending on who you ask, celebrate its leaders as folk heroes.

For years, the cartels encouraged these types of songs; in fact, many traffickers commissioned well-known musicians to write about their exploits. But now, in the midst of a government offensive against the traffickers and brutal infighting among the cartels, some corrido musicians have found themselves in the middle of the violence. The murders are just one reflection of how Northern Mexico's complicated relationship with the drug trade is changing.

Video producers Clayton Worfolk and Jordan deBree travel to Sinaloa, the heart of drug country, to tell the story of the narcocorrido and to find out what the death of popular musicians says about Mexico's violent drug war.

Mexico: Last day in Culiacán

On his last day in Culiacán, Pulitzer Center grantee Clayton Worfolk witnessed a traumatic crime scene—an embodiment of what has made this city one of the most dangerous in Mexico.

Life goes on in Culiacán

People here are mad. People here are scared. But what's striking to an outsider (especially one whose prior point of reference for quality of life in the city was the "Policiaca" section of the local newspapers) is that the humor, charm and pride of daily life in Culiacán persists. Every person we meet is friendlier than the last, and it is easy to imagine this being a joyful place to live, were it not for the violence.