The minstrel daughter of a cartel don

McClatchy Foreign StaffJanuary 23, 2014 

Behind the scenes on the making of Melissa Plancarte's "Desde Que Te Fuiste" music video


One of the best windows into the lives of Mexico’s drug dealers comes through what their adult children post on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook.

A new example came this week. It turns out that Enrique "El Kiki" Plancarte, a cartel boss who leads the Knights Templar organized crime group in embattled Michoacan state, has a daughter who is a professional singer. She goes by the name “Melissa, the Princess of the Band.”

This morning, Melissa Plancarte wrote a letter to a news portal in Mexico City acknowledging that she is the daughter of the Michoacan cartel chief.

It was in response to multiple stories about her postings on social networks, including wearing clothing with the bright red cross on a white background, symbol of the Knights Templar, and how no one in the entertainment industry seemed to have pause about her background.

Indeed, it can only be conjecture whether it was Melissa’s money, family background or true talent that allowed her to film a music video in the Palace of Justice in the heart of Morelia, capital of Michoacan state, seen to the side. But clearly she is treated like a celebrity, not the daughter of a wanted drug trafficker. In other videos, Melissa appears in mansions, next to luxury autos and beside vast swimming pools

In her letter today, Melissa asked not be tainted by association with her father:

“With respect to my father, naturally I love him but I am not the one who should judge him nor am I responsible for his acts. I bear no blame whatsoever. I have nothing to do with the situations that people link me to. My world, my dream and my passion are music, and that’s what I’ve been focused on along with my studies. My career cannot be dimmed by acts unrelated to me.”

The offspring of some of Mexico’s most notorious drug lords have exercised little discretion about displaying their life on social networks. Click here for a story I wrote about some of them recently.

While real sons and daughters of narcos seem to revel in their families’ notoriety, others also get drawn into the spotlight. Another case making news this week is that of singer Gibran David Martiz, a former contestant on Mexico’s version of American Idol, called Voice Mexico. Martiz was found dead Jan. 18 in Veracruz state. He’d gone missing 11 days earlier when assailants dressed as state police came to pick him up. Now, it turns out, Martiz liked to pose with guns and play act as if he were a gangster. Proceso magazine has published some of photos showing this here. Was Martiz a real gangster, or wannabe? Hard to tell.

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