MEXICO CITY — A Mexican norteno ballad singer known as “El Chapo de Sinaloa” announced Tuesday that he plans to run as an independent candidate for the mayorship of Bahia de Banderas, a suburb of Puerto Vallarta.
The singer’s manager confirmed the news, contained in a press release that said Perez would take a break from his musical career to run.
The singer’s real name is Ernesto Perez and his stage name “Chapo” is a nickname for short people in northern Mexico.
Perez’s birthplace is listed as Badiraguato, which is also the home township of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman — the Sinaloa cartel drug lord now facing trial in the United States.
Perez’s music tends toward banda-style love songs rather than narco-corridos that focus on the drug trade.
The statement said he wants to offer “dignified, just and transparent representation” to the people of Bahia de Banderas, which is in the Pacific coast state of Nayarit. The state suffered from a wave of drug violence and killings between 2010 and 2012.
It would not be the first time someone with no previous political experience won a mayorship in Mexico. In 2015, former national soccer team star Cuauhtemoc Blanco won the race for the mayorship of the city of Cuernavaca.