Who killed Chalino Sánchez?

classic Classic list List threaded Threaded
24 messages Options
12
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Who killed Chalino Sánchez?

Siskiyou_Kid
This post was updated on .

Chalino Sánchez with his friend Fredy Bojórquez, El Puma de Sinaloa

It has been 21 years since the famous norteño singer Chalino Sánchez was gunned down after performing a rare show in Culiacán. While his legend lives on, the question remains, who killed Chalino Sánchez?

The facts of Chalino's life are fairly straightforward. He was born in the rancho of Las Flechas and raised in Sanalona, a village about 20 miles east of Culiacán. According to the American reporter San Quiñones, who has interviewed many of Chalino's friends and associates, his legend begins with an incident right out of the Pancho Villa saga: when he was a child, a local tough raped his sister and, at the age of 15, Chalino ran into the rapist at a party, walked up to him without saying a word, and shot him to death. With that, he had to leave town, and he moved to Los Angeles to live with an aunt. He worked various jobs, both the low-paid, semilegitimate work available to illegal immigrants and small-time border hustlers, smuggling drugs and people across the line in partnership with his brother Armando. In 1984, Armando was shot and killed in Tijuana, and the story is that Chalino's first corrido was written shortly afterward to preserve his brother's memory.

It was around that time that Chalino ran afoul of the law and spent a few months in jail, and some say that this was the beginning of his new career. He wrote songs about his fellow inmates, trading his compositions to their protagonists in return for money or favors. He turned out to have a striking facility for making up lyrics, and on his release found himself in demand among the low-level traffickers and tough guys of southern and Baja California. He would write on commission, serving as a sort of musical press agent for whoever cared to come up with the cash. In this world, where literacy is by no means the rule, corridos are a performed rather than a written style, and Chalino's clients didn't want a printed lyric, but instead a cassette with their ballad performed by a band. He did not consider himself a singer, so he hired a local norteño outfit, Los Cuatro del Norte, to record his first batch of commercial products. Once they got into the studio, though, he found himself taking over. As his friend Pedro Rivera tells the story, "They had no idea how to sing a corrido, so he got angry and said, 'Give them to me, I'll sing them myself.' He got up and sang them the way he thought they should be sung, and that's how they were recorded for all time."

Chalino knew that he was not a good singer, but he could deliver a corrido lyric and the tapes were not intended for widespread consumption. "The second recording he did with the banda, with the banda Los Guamuchilenos," Pedro says. "And the engineer said to him, 'Listen, the trumpet is out of tune there, and you're out of tune there.'"

Chalino's response summed up his intentions, "No, loco, it's fine like it is. I don't want to sell this, it's just so each cabron can hear hiscorrido and so I've got it recorded."

That was how it was for the first few cassettes. Chalino would record 15 songs, each commissioned by some local valiente (brave man or tough, depending on how you care to translate), make one copy for each client, and that was that. By the third recording, his clients were ordering extra copies for their friends, and the studio owner, Angel Parra, suggested doing a proper, professional run of 300 cassettes. These sold easily and were followed by reorders, and Chalino found himself becoming a professional singer. It was a gradual process: he had first entered the studio in 1986 or 1987, and it would be several more years before he began drawing serious crowds, but already people were being struck by his unique style.

Chalino was nothing like other norteño stars. Indeed, one could say that his appeal was that of the anti-star. He was seen not as an entertainer, but, as the real thing, a valiente fresh off a Sinaloan rancho. His voice was anything by pretty, a flat, nasal whine that, especially on the early recordings, tends to sound tight and forced. His own assessment of it is said to have been, "I don't sing. I bark." As it turned out, this was among his greatest assets: when people heard him, they instantly knew that he was different. You could not mistake that voice, and its very ugliness suggested that the singer had lived the life and knew what he was talking about. This was not a pop norteño band in fancy cowboy outfits singing about Camelia la Tejana. It was the true voice of the drug traffic, of the dark guys in the giant pickup trucks whose expensive clothes could not conceal their country manners.

Chalino was the right man in the right place at the right time. In 1988, Los Tigres themselves turned away from flamboyant cowboy suits and a musical path that had broadened to include soft rock and South American rhythms, and released a stripped-down crime-ballad collection called "Corridos Prohibitos" ("Prohibited Corridos"). A challenge to those who thought they had grown rich and detached from their roots, it showed them on the cover as a group of street guys in a police lineup, and the title boasted of the fact that their narco songs were regularly banned from radio airplay. By some reports it was their most popular album to date (since corrido albums, in particular, sell largely in bootleg versions, there is no way to establish sales) and, although they soon returned to ornate white tiger suits, it proved their ability to capture the spirit of the times. Just as rap was forcing the Anglo pop world to confront the raw sounds and stark realities of the urban streets, thecorrido was stripping off its own pop trappings to become the rap of modern Mexico and the barrios on el otro lado.


Chalino Sánchez, his wife Marisela Vallejo and his children Adán and Cynthia

Los Tigres understood the new wave, but Chalino defined it. Like Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin, or the gangsta rappers, his style crystallized a moment after which nothing would sound quite the same. A lot of people hated his records, attacking them as grating and amateurish, but his fan base soon reached far beyond the LA and Tijuana street crowd that had given him his start. Older corrido fans in the Sierra Madre or the northern deserts were attracted by the same thing that excited the young punks in L.A.: Chalino was the real thing, a fiercely accurate corridista chronicling the world around him.

Chalino's sound was anathema to the mainstream ranchera world, but the slow, low cars cruising the barrios soon had his tapes blaring from their windows, and his following spread like brush fire. In 1990, he played a concert at El Parral, a popular dance club in South Gate, and so many people showed up that the owner had to lock the doors to prevent an overflow.

He was still a relatively local phenomenon, though, known only in southern California, the immediately adjoining border region, and in Sinaloa. His breakthrough, in terms of wider publicity, came on January 20, 1992. That night, he was singing in a club in Coachella, California, just outside Palm Springs, when an unemployed mechanic came up to the stage to make a request, then pulled out a pistol and shot Chalino in the side. Living up to his reputation, Chalino pulled out his own gun and returned fire. By the time it was all over, the would-be assassin had been shot in the mouth with his own gun, Nacho Hernandez had been shot in the thigh, and at least five other people were wounded, including a young guy who bled to death as his friends drove him to the hospital. In Sinaloa, it is commonly said that the death toll was higher, but that most of the killed and wounded, being undocumented aliens with criminal connections, were spirited out of the club and over the border before the police arrived.

The shooting made the Anglo as well as the Spanish-language newspapers, and even got a spot on ABC's World News Tonight. Chalino's sales skyrocketed and he finally began to get some airplay, though only for an old-fashioned, non-narco pop song, "Nieves de Enero." At his next L.A. appearance, El Parral was packed and had to close its doors by 6:00 P.M., some five or six hours before he was due onstage. According to Quiñones, however, Chalino was not all that cheerful about his new notoriety. He was having intimations of mortality, and in the next few months he portioned out his gun collection among his friends and signed a contract with Musart, one of Mexico's biggest recording and publishing companies, giving Musart the rights to his songs and him enough money to buy a house for his wife and children. This deal, which reportedly earned him the impressive sum of 350,000 pesos (at the time roughly $115,000), made perfect sense in the street corrido world, where songs rarely outlast their singers, but would turn out to be a disastrous financial miscalculation. The contract gave away all rights, with no royalty provisions, and Chalino's family was thus robbed of any share in the millions earned after he became a legend.

Chalino's legendary status arrived more or less as expected: On May 15, four months after the Coachella shooting, he played a rare gig in Culiacán, at the Salon Bugambilias. The show was a huge success, but afterwards things turned nasty. As Quiñones tells the story in his book, True Tales From Another Mexico, Chalino drove away from the club with two of his brothers, a cousin and several young women. They were pulled over at a traffic circle by a group of armed men in Chevrolet Suburbans, who flashed state police identification cards, took one of the brothers out of the car, then told Chalino that commandante wanted to see him. They talked a bit more, and then Chalino agreed to go along with the men, getting into one of their cars while the others followed behind.

A few hours later, as dawn broke on May 16, 1992, two campesinos found the body of Chalino Sánchez dumped by an irrigation canal near the highway north out of town. He was blindfolded, and his wrists had rope marks. He had been shot twice in the back of the head.

The sequel was a Mexican version of the Tupac Shakur story: Chalino's death elevated him from a singer to a legend, and the West Coast corridistas rushed out reams of verses in honor of their fallen bard. Chalino's widow told the Swiss researcher Helena Simonett that she knew of over 150 corridos dedicated to her late husband, and there were undoubtedly others that did not come to her attention. Meanwhile, "Nieves de Enero" became a radio hit, and Musart rushed out a bunch of "new" Chalino albums, reusing his vocal tracks to create banda and mariachi versions of his songs, and faking duets with the dead Texas border idol Cornelio Reyna and the female ranchera star Mercedes Castro. Within a couple of years, the corrido scene from Culiacán to Los Angeles was flooded with imitators, all singing in approximations of his raw country tenor and pictured with pistols and rifles.

But, who killed Chalino?

Various theories have surfaced blaming Chalino's death on the lyrics he sang in his music, as well as his work as a "pollero", smuggling migrants on the California border.

However, many people in Sinaloa believe that his fate can be traced back to the revenge killing of “El Chapo” Pérez, the local thug accused of raping his sister. Chalino fled Sinaloa for the United States to avoid the authorities, but he also was fleeing the Pérez family, who were seeking revenge for their brother's death.

Various stories say that the police who kidnapped Chalino were relatives or even brothers of  “El Chapo” Pérez. One story mentions  Valdemar Escobar Pérez, or Valdemar Pérez, either a cousin or brother of the man who raped Chalino's sister.

A similar name emerges in  a popular myth amongst Chalino fans that his murder was committed by Adalberto Valdemar Escobar Barraza, a sicario for Joaquin Guzmán Loera, who was
actually murdered in Monterrey in 1999.

However, the dominant story back in Culiacán is that Chalino's interest in a local girl angered a local drug lord, Don Emilio Quintero Payan, from  Bacurato, and one of the founders of the Juárez Cartel. Quintero sent his team of sicarios, led by Gonzalo Araujo Payán, alias el Chalo Araujo, to pick up and kill Chalino. Araujo died in 2006 with one bullet to the head, and it's still disputed whether he was killed over an unpaid $3 million drug debt, or chose to take his own life.


Gonzalo Araujo Payán, el Chalo Araujo and his son Gonzalo Araujo Zazueta

On a side note, Chalo Araujo's son, Gonzalo Araujo Zazueta, el Chalito Araujo, died in Cuernavaca in December, 2009, alongside Arturo Beltrán Leyva , when he was killed in a shootout with Mexican Marines.

Whatever the truth of Chalino Sánchez's death, his songs and his legend live on in the hearts and minds of people in Sinaloa, as well as in Southern California and wherever Mexicans have gone to follow their dreams, just as Chalino Sánchez did.

http://www.debate.com.mx/eldebate/noticias/fotogaleria.asp?IdArt=13227485&IdCat=6098&IdImagen=68965108
http://www.debate.com.mx/eldebate/noticias/default.asp?IdArt=13227485&IdCat=6098
http://www.openthesis.org/documents/Los-Nuevos-Terroristas-Alterado-Movement-600860-s5.html
http://www.pbs.org/pov/alotrolado/special_narcorridos.php

 
Those that say, don't know. Those that know, don't say.
DD
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Who killed Chalino Sánchez?

DD
Administrator
@kID.  Great story Kid.
Words are powerful weapons, be careful how you use them.
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Who killed Chalino Sánchez?

MrJayDub
In reply to this post by Siskiyou_Kid
Great read! I have not heard the Adalberto Valdemar Escobar Barraza theory. What's the story on the motive if it was Adalberto Valdemar Escobar Barraza? I'd like to hear more about that. As a matter of fact, I'm going to look into it...
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Who killed Chalino Sánchez?

Pariente
In reply to this post by Siskiyou_Kid
A rumor I've read over the years is that Chaulo Araujo killed Chalino.
Chaulo is the infamous CDS member who supposedly took his life over a large debt he owed. Has several corridos, his son was killed with El Botas Blanca's
Add that one to the conspiracy list as well.
From what I've read.
" La palabara es plata, el silencio es oro "
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Who killed Chalino Sánchez?

Siskiyou_Kid
In reply to this post by DD
Thanks, DD and MrJayDub, I'm glad you enjoyed reading this story.
Those that say, don't know. Those that know, don't say.
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Who killed Chalino Sánchez?

_The Magician_
Banned User
In reply to this post by Siskiyou_Kid
CONTENTS DELETED
The author has deleted this message.
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Who killed Chalino Sánchez?

El_Cuatro_Veinte
In reply to this post by Siskiyou_Kid


Heres dope Corrido about him with translated lyrics

I was a man with guts and passed all the test
i never needed bulletproof vest or bazookas or grenades
respected by my squad and also by my word
thery're two different things and i didnt break em off for nothing
and i didnt break em off for nothing

after my death i said things wouldnt be the same
in the present i would not return to my life in culiacan
I was a man among men I showed it to the end
even the man who killed me knew i couldnt crack
I knew I couldnt crack

felix sanchez Rosalino was humble and simple
maybe it was because of my charisma I had many friends
and also because my character was carrying enemies
I do not regret anything those are the laws of destiny
and all I did to my style ...

thats my destiny i forged my destiny
I got the nickname as the king of corridos
I did not nickname myself as do these children
and though the years pass my legacy lives on
My legacy lives on ...

Life was very nice i did it all to live it
hurt me to die so young and leave my family
the dream was incomplete and had no alternative
but because of you my voice is still alive
My voice is still alive ....

20 years of my death I give you my people
my wife and my daughter do not curse their luck
adancito I brought with me because he wanted to see me
remember that they are not alone, the have the love of my people
soon you will see me again ...

this is a pretty rough translation but it works
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Who killed Chalino Sánchez?

tonga
In reply to this post by Pariente
Thats the correct theory it was chaulo aurajo over some pussy it happens all the time shit happens
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Who killed Chalino Sánchez?

Siskiyou_Kid
What's the story? Did Chalino get down with the wrong chica after his show and piss off Chalo Araujo?

As Pariente pointed out, it's interesting that his son died with el Botas Blancas.

Here's a photo of Gonzalo Araujo Payán, el Chalo, and his son Gonzalo Araujo Zazueta, el Chalito. He was 48 when he died, so he would have been about 35 when Chalino Sánchez was murdered.

Those that say, don't know. Those that know, don't say.
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Who killed Chalino Sánchez?

Sinaloa2256
Banned User
This post was updated on .
In reply to this post by Siskiyou_Kid
CONTENTS DELETED
The author has deleted this message.
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Who killed Chalino Sánchez?

Siskiyou_Kid
Thanks, Guero. That's an interesting video.

The note and all make it seem like it does have more to do with the Pérez guy that he killed for raping his sister, than some girl he met at the show, but who knows.



Those that say, don't know. Those that know, don't say.
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Who killed Chalino Sánchez?

Pariente
In reply to this post by Siskiyou_Kid
From why I've read.
El Botas Blanca's took his son under his wing when the federation split.
At that time it was Beltran vs Chaps and people were obligated to choose sides.
At one time they formed a group " Los charritos " a lot of history in that family as well. His daughter was the one that " supposedly " stirred up drama with el Puma and el animals son. The infamous puma video, she was kiddnapped and later released. And it was suspected that she gave up el puma to Chaps people to answer for el animals sons death. Now that was the rumor on all the blogs and publications. Chalo was a ruthless guy from what I read and his narco jr son wanted to follow those footsteps as well. His most popular corrido was vida Mafiosa that blew up with Tigrillo Palma. What I found intriguing is that Chalo son jumped from the balcony when Arturo's apartment was being lit up. He was young, likely could have surrendered.  Sorry, a little off topic but very intriguing.
" La palabara es plata, el silencio es oro "
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Who killed Chalino Sánchez?

Siskiyou_Kid
In reply to this post by Pariente
@Pariente, I'm including the Gonzolo Araujo story in the answers in the main story.
Those that say, don't know. Those that know, don't say.
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Who killed Chalino Sánchez?

Pariente
Good post,
Wasn't Chalino the first to sing a corrido to JT
Javier Torres ? Early 90"s he was well known back then as well.
As far as Chalino, he was the one  who really elevated the corrido genre.
I don't want to say he was the only one because there were people before him, but he definitely was the first to really take it to another level and mix in with the connected people.After his death he reached icon status. I really miss that genre, El Lobito, EL Puma, El Monarcha, Saul Viera, even Juan Rivera, Lupillo of the old.
" La palabara es plata, el silencio es oro "
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Who killed Chalino Sánchez?

NoMamesGooey



I have heard a rumor that chalino and el jt were related.

Rosalino Sanchez Felix = chalino
 Javier Torres Felix= el JT
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Who killed Chalino Sánchez?

ArmChairIntellect
In reply to this post by Siskiyou_Kid
Hey Kid is this original?  If so great job!!!
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Who killed Chalino Sánchez?

Siskiyou_Kid
Thanks ACI, but this is a story from PBS that I added some info to.
Those that say, don't know. Those that know, don't say.
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Who killed Chalino Sánchez?

K_Mennem
Great read SK
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Who killed Chalino Sánchez?

Havana
In reply to this post by Siskiyou_Kid
Hey
Really awesome story- thanks for putting it up. I'm pretty much a fool for Chalino information which you don't see much of these days. I enjoyed it as much as the Sam Quinones story on Chalino from a long way back. Good comments too. Bye
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Who killed Chalino Sánchez?

Mexicali~Slim
In reply to this post by Pariente
The corrido Vida Mafiosa was actually written by Pepe Ontiveros W/ Canelos de Durango and thats the same corrido that made Canelos who they are now. It was a big hit before Tigrillo Palma was even discovered.
12