Mexico & Latin America



1) Guillermoprieto — “Mexico City: 1992” in The Heart That Bleeds: Latin America Now

2) Holscher and Fernandez — “Contrabando Y Corrupción: The Rise of Popularity of Narcocorridos”

3) “Beginners Guide: Victor Jara”
3B) Bonus reading (not required): A more detailed profile of Victor Jara (1975)

4) Nyvlt — “A Study of Bachata”

Bonus Reading (not required): “Why do Mexicans Love Morrissey So Much?”


What is Mexican son? (source:
The term son (which literally translates as “sound”) refers to a particular type of Mexican folk music from the countryside. This designation for rural folk music comes from a colonial distinction made between música, which was the music of the church and the court, and the more derogatory son, which was the noise everyone else made.

Son originated in Central Mexico, defined broadly, and is a fusion of Spanish, African, and indigenous music. Today, son mexicano is a very general category that encompasses nine different types of rural folk music that each correlate to a specific region of Mexico. Interestingly, sonis now also played in urban centers and performed in places far from its native region. Each type of son has its own instrumentation but string instruments dominate. A 6/8 meter and the accompanying foot stomping zapateado also link the diverse currents of son.


Mariachi Vargas — the transformation of mariachi
What is a charro, and what role does he play for Chicanos?
Mariachi Vargas and the charro movie
Vicente Fernández–King of ranchera music

What is a corrido?


Ramón Ayala version of El Corrido de Gregorio Cortez (with lyric translation)
Contrabando y Traición by Los Tigros Del Norte (lyric translation)

The legend of ‘El Chapo’: Cartel chief cultivated Robin Hood image

Mexico Drug War: 70 Percent Of Guns Seized Originate In U.S.

Selena and Tejano music

What is banda music?
What is Nortec?
BBC segment on Nortec