S. Texas singer's death believed to be homicide

Posted Thursday, Apr. 25, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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McALLEN -- The death of a South Texas singer well-known for his ballads, including some about the exploits of Mexican drug cartels, is being treated as a homicide, the Hidalgo County sheriff said Thursday.

The body of Jesus "Chuy" Quintanilla was found on a rural road Thursday near his vehicle. He appeared to have been shot at least twice in the head, Sheriff Lupe Trevino said.

Irrigation workers found his body on a roadway north of Mission in an isolated area surrounded by citrus groves, Trevino said.

Quintanilla's family filed a missing person report Thursday morning, saying they hadn't had contact with him since the previous night. But investigators were already on the scene, Trevino said.

Quintanilla is well-known in the region for musica norteña, a genre popular in northern Mexico and South Texas, particularly for his ballads, known as corridos.

Some of his songs could be considered narcocorridos, which often tell of the power of top drug traffickers or recount big gunbattles in ways that sometimes anger those on the losing side.

Singers of narcocorridos have become targets. Valentin Elizalde was fatally shot in 2006 after performing in Reynosa, the border city across from McAllen, and Sergio Vega was killed in Sinaloa in 2010.

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