Tito Torbellino, an American born “banda” music singer, who was popular in Northern Mexico was shot and killed inside a restaurant this weekend. Torbellino was in the border state of Sonaro at the restaurant in Ciudad Obregon at the time of the shooting, according to ABC News on May 31.
Sonora State Police said that Torbellino was shot several times at close range. Police report that two gunmen entered the restaurant and walked up to Torbellino and started shooting. The singer died on the way to the hospital, reports Billboard.
Born Tovar Rascon and taking the stage name of Tito Torbellino later in life, the singer was only 33. There are no leads as to who the gunmen were or why they seemingly targeted Torbellino.
Mexico has seen its fair share of musical group members being murdered. Last year in the town of Mina, 18 men, including 12 musicians in a band were abducted from a bar and killed. The band members were from the group Kombo Kolombia and several of their bodies were found at the bottom of a well.
The Kombo Kolombia band had gone to this bar/restaurant to play for a private party and when they didn’t return home, their family members went to the club to find their vehicles still there. There was no sign of the band members. At the same time police were informed of the murders by one of the band members who escaped.
Police learned of the abduction when one of the band members escaped the abduction and fled Mexico. He reported the abduction to the police before fleeing the country. He gave detailed information to the police about the abductors and led them to the site of their execution.
According to Borderland Beat last year the murders of the Kombo Kolombia group was attributed to Los Zetas. They may have somehow become entangled in the fighting for control between the Gulf Cartel and the Los Zetas. All the band members who were killed were shot execution style.
Groups that perform “narcocorridos” that celebrate the exploits of drug traffickers have been targeted and murdered in the past. While Tito Torbellinos music videos focus on love and not drug gangs, this doesn’t seem highly likely.
Although some guns do appear in his music videos, it is not anything that would put him in the same category as the bands that focus their songs on drug gangs. Tito has only recently become successful in the music business, said Elijah Wald, author of the book “Narcocorrido: A Journey Into the Music of Drugs, Guns and Guerrillas.” Wald said:
“It’s often just a matter of somebody sponsoring someone who isn’t paying them back or isn’t being properly respectful once they make it.”
Wald said the music world that Tito Torbellinos was in, it is easy to make friends with the wrong people or even just be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Just looking at the wrong girl “sideways,” could get you in trouble.