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Border & Immigration

Mexican Pop Singer Tries To Distance Herself From Drug Lord Father

A developing scandal involving the pop singer children of a Mexican drug lord is raising questions about the tight connections between politicians, pop culture and the cartels.

Melissa Plancarte, daughter of Knights Templar cartel leader Enrique Plancarte, sings banda music, which is popular along the U.S.–Mexico border. Her brother, Enrique Plancarte Jr. is also an aspiring banda singer.

Melissa, who calls herself “The Princess of Banda,” has been making waves in Mexican media after posting a selfie on Instagram wearing a dress adorned with red crosses, the symbol of the Knights Templar cartel.


On Jan. 31, she performed and gave an interview on the U.S.-based Estrella TV, in which she said she had no contact with her father and didn’t know where he was.

She also said the dress she’s wearing in the Instagram photo was a costume, supposedly a nun’s habit.

Mexican authorities are searching for Melissa’s father, Enrique Plancarte, in the midst of a tense battle between the Knights Templar and vigilante groups in Michoacán.

Despite Melissa’s assertion that she has no contact with her father, photos have recently emerged showing her in a home purportedly owned by the drug lord.

Following the revelations, several venues in the Mexican state of Zacatecas cancelled scheduled performances by The Princess of Banda, according to a Zacatecan news site.


Last year, as Vocativ reports, the Plancarte children sang at a music festival sponsored by the state government of Michoacán. And on Feb. 2, a video surfaced showing a Mexican senator from Michoacán dancing on stage at a party with Melissa Plancarte.

As we’ve reported, drug violence and cartel leaders figure prominently in Mexican pop culture.