MEXICO CITY – A trumpet player was found dead with his hands and feet bound and a nylon bag over his head in southern Mexico, in what authorities said was apparently the country's third murder of a musician in less than a week.
Jose Luis Aquino, 33, had been hit repeatedly on the head, a spokesman for the Oaxaca state attorney general's office said Thursday — the same day that two other slain musicians received posthumous nominations for Grammy Awards.
The attorney general's spokesman, who could not be named according to departmental rules, said authorities were still investigating possible motives but suspected a crime of passion.
Aquino played for Los Conde, which was founded in Tututepec, Oaxaca, and later moved to the resort town of Puerto Escondido, according to its Web site. The band has recorded a half-dozen albums, and members appeared in the early-1990s film "Mafioso pero Gracioso," or "Funny Mobster."
Los Conde singer and guitar player Francisco Conde said Aquino played for 14 years in the band, was married and had two children.
"He was a good person and never fought with anyone," Conde said. "He didn't smoke or do drugs."
Made up mostly of brothers and cousins, Los Conde has toured the United States, Conde said.
A wave of organized crime violence has terrorized many parts of Mexico and the latest victims appear to be popular musicians.
Most disquieting were the weekend slayings of two singers who had crooned only about love and loss, not drugs and guns like some singers of so-called "narcocorridos," or drug ballads, killed in the past.
The murders of Sergio Gomez, lead performer for the top-selling group K-Paz de la Sierra, and Zayda Pena of the group Zayda and the Guilty Ones has mainstream singers worrying they may become targets by becoming identified with one or another of Mexico's warring drug gangs.
Previous musician deaths have been linked to Mexico's drug war. Valentin Elizalde was killed in November 2006, after his song "To My Enemies" became a drug lord's anthem.
Both Elizalde and Gomez earned posthumous Grammy nominations Thursday.
K-Paz de la Sierra's album, "Conquistando Corazones," and Elizalde's most recent effort, "Lobo Domesticado," were candidates for best banda album.