Mexico: Police Hunt For 20 Missing Musicians

Mexico: Police Hunt For 20 Missing Musicians

Police are searching for 20 members of a Mexican band who have gone missing after playing a gig.

Relatives said Kombo Kolombia's 12 musicians and eight crew were scheduled to play in Hidalgo in the northeast Mexican state of Nuevo Leon on Thursday night.

But the group, who play Colombian vallenato music, seem to have vanished.

"They were not answering their mobile phones, but we just thought it was because they were in a remote place," said family member Jose Ruiz.

"We started to look for them, and we found their cars open and empty, and neither they nor their instruments were at the farm where they were scheduled to play."

Nuevo Leon security spokesman Jorge Domene confirmed the disappearance, saying that the group had not been heard from since Thursday.

Nuevo Leon, like many Mexican states, has suffered a growing wave of violence as criminal gangs engaged in kidnapping, extortion and drug trafficking battle with members of opposing cartels and with police.

According to official figures, more than 70,000 people died in Mexico from drug-related violence under former president Felipe Calderon, whose six-year term ended in 2012.

Drug gangs have killed a number of Mexican musicians in recent years.

In 2007 Sergio Gomez, singer of the band K-Paz de la Sierra, was kidnapped and later found strangled after a concert in the western state of Michoacan.

And Sergio Vega, known as El Shaka, was shot dead in 2010 by gunmen who attacked as he was driving his Cadillac in Sinaloa state, also in western Mexico.

Most victims have played narcocorridos - songs celebrating the lives of drug barons - while Kombo Kolombia specialise in Colombian pop music.

President Enrique Pena Nieto, who took office in December 2012, has announced the creation of a new police task force to tackle Mexico's drug gang violence.



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