From ‘El Culichi’ to Peso Pluma: The familial link between music and Mexico’s drug cartels

The intriguing legacy of Peso Pluma's lineage and the surprising links to the notorious Sinaloan figure 'El Culichi.'

Peso Pluma is again at the center of the conversation and trends, but this time not because of the success of his work or any statement made by himself but because of the nature of his ancestry and his peculiar family ties. Now the news is that his grandfather was presumably a “gunman” for one of the most famous and influential drug bosses of the seventies. There are even corridos that tell their stories.

Emilio Hassan Kabande Laija has figured in the conversation and various conspiracy theories that try to make sense of his unexpected success. Some regional Mexican singers also make all sorts of statements about him due to his large numbers in weekly plays and listeners or criticize his music based on a certain novel musical genre.

However, new information suggests that the family of the famous Peso Pluma may have ties to the world of drug trafficking. More specifically, his grandfather, who is said to have been a famous gunman who worked for one of the “bosses of bosses,” the leader of a cartel in Sinaloa that lived its heyday almost fifty years in the past.

Eleodoro elenes “el culichi”.

El abuelo de Peso Pluma era el famoso "Culichi". Imágenes: Facebook.
Peso Pluma’s grandfather was the famous “Culichi.” Images: Facebook.

According to Pepe Garza in the magazine program Chisme No Like, the grandfather of the singer of corridos tumbados is Pedro Eleodoro Cázares Laija, also known as Eleodoro Elenes, “El Culichi.” This character served as one of the gunmen, workers, and right hand of Pedro Aviles Perez, also known as “Don Pedro” or “El Leon de la Sierra.”

There is little information about El Culichi, but the little that is known is thanks to the stories of the people of Sinaloa and the corridos of various artists, where certain adventures and anecdotes are told, either of Don Pedro or Culichi himself.

Presumably, the artist’s grandfather was originally from Santiago Los Caballeros in Badiraguato, Sinaloa, and was born in 1952. He liked to ride horses while wearing his many jewels and necklaces of pure gold. He had a fondness for whiskey. Not only did he work for Aviles, but they were, in fact, close friends. He was arrested on three occasions but was quickly released from jail. The maximum time he spent in prison was three months.

In 1984, El Culichi threw a party at his house in the Burócrata neighborhood. He was lying in a hammock when he was shot several times by a man who was supposedly his friend, whom he had met in prison and who was released thanks to him. The killer ran away, jumped over a fence, and entered a neighbor’s house. Culichi’s gunmen riddled him with bullets right there.

Also interesting:

Chalino Sánchez has among his repertoire a corrido that explains the history of Culichi. It mentions that “the motives for the death that cowardly assassin gave him are still unknown. He gave himself as a friend”. As the stories mention, the murderer died after the chase, so the song states that “he who does it pays for it and died the same day.”

Where does peso pluma’s success come from?

Peso Pluma es el cantante mexicano más exitoso del momento. Imagen: Facebook.
Peso Pluma is the most successful Mexican singer of the moment. Image: Facebook.

Due to the nature of the content of his songs and his many links to drug trafficking-related characters, many people claim that Emilio Hassan owes his success to the fact that organized crime groups somehow finance him.

However, Pepe Garza himself affirmed, in the aforementioned program, that in his opinion, the success of “Doble P” is due more to a generational and media issue, in addition to a musical appeal that has undoubtedly dazzled the youth.

“The youth didn’t have someone to represent them with this guy’s energy,” Garza explained. “And he has some very good musical arrangements and a catchy melody, and that, for my point of view, is his success.”

The composer and producer of regional music said that many of his friends, who are die-hard rock fans, suddenly called him to ask him to arrange meetings for their children with the famous interpreter of “Ella baila sola.” She considers that her success is due to a “social issue.”

It’s a social wave and a difficult phenomenon to describe. There are many conspiracy theories. Many people believe that they put a lot of money into it from certain characters. One in this knows that it is not about money. It is that people connect and things go viral, you need money to make a campaign, but you are not going to do it at the tip of a bill from anyone”.