The violent assassination in Guanajuato of musician Virgilio Ruiz Garcia is yet another example of Guanjuato succumbing to violence infesting other part of the country.
Garcia, the head of banda ‘Tierra Mojada’ was killed in Salamanca after his band performed there earlier this month. The group’s bus was attacked with gunfire as thieves attempted to hijack the bus as it was parked in the lot. Mexican media allege the group was targeted because the banda didn’t comply with a song request during their performance.
The 41-year lead singer was allegedly confronted by a gang of men after the concert and a fight erupted. The group then attempted to hijack the bus and fired shots into the bus striking Garcia in the head. Other reports indicate that shots were fired inside the venue after the song request was denied but ‘Tierra Mojada’ decided to continue performing.
This week the band announced it was continuing to perform and would provide financial support to Garcia’s wife and three children. His mother who he was also providing for will also be taken care of by the band. His life was celebrated with music and impromptu concerts throughout his hometown of San Andres Huayapam, Oaxaca during the funeral and memorial.
The band hails from Oaxaca and was enjoying a new group of fans thanks to a successful collaboration with Lila Downs, earlier this year. Downs noted on her Facebook “This cannot still be happening in Mexico.”
The historic state of Guanajuanto started 2017 on a very violent trajectory with 138 murders in January alone - the most violent January since 1997. Historically the birthplace of Mexican independence was considered relatively peaceful but that all changed dramatically in 2016. According to the statistics from the Executive Secretariat of the National Security System, the state recorded nearly 7,000 “high-impact crimes” that include murders and kidnappings, resulting in a 17 violent crimes occurring a day in 2016 and 2017 statistics are markedly worse.
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