The song of the Corridistas

Student performing a corrido in 2010 (© Flickr/KCET Departures)

The corrido, or ballad, is one of Mexico’s oldest song styles. During the 19th and early 20th century, it was the Mexican equivalent of Spanish romances or cowboy songs of the old West. A new breed of corridistas has popularised the form again. But the protagonists in these modern ballads are drug traffickers or immigrants fighting for survival. The genre has inspired dozens of hit movies, as well as condemnation by conservative politicians.

Producer: David Swatling

Broadcast; March 14, 2002