"La Catrina" Strikes Again

By Nathan Payne | pablosmoglives | 17 Jul 2022

The recent shooting death of a 21-year-old mariachi singer at the hands of her jealous 79-year-old husband in a restaurant in Mexico City highlights the dangers of playing with fire, whatever side of the death table you're sitting on.  What leads a 21-year-old woman to marry a guy who's nearly 80?  Yeah, well... okay.  Money and/or power, fine.  From his end, though:  does he think she's into him for him?  When you lease an exotic car, do you get jealous when the lease ends, and someone else ends up behind the wheel?  Even if you did vow to drive it forever?

¿Qué pasó?

The story reads like a catalog of dense weeds, a quadruple-angle playbook of avoidable mistakes.  The kind of mistakes most of us have made at least once.  Love, desire, jealousy, greed.  Someone flashes a gun, someone else runs out of the room wrapped in a dirty bedsheet.  Power struggles ensue.  A great deal of dramatic noise is produced.  The girls flash their assets in a bid for leverage and control.  The guys flex their power, kicking burning skulls back and forth over the death-field, trying to get one over on the other guy.  It's the same old story.  Guns, money, drugs.  Music, power, death.  Most of us who have an historical penchant for bad decisions have made the mistake at least once.

I was attacked onstage once by a guy I knew, who'd spent the hours at the bar before the show drinking heavily and licking his knife.  It was the kind of place nobody was necessarily going to confront him for such behavior, even if they kept an eye on him.  Somebody said to me, "he's here, licking his knife at the bar."  Yeah, well.  What am I supposed to do about it?  Cancel the show?  Because of one violent drunk with a knife?

When he lunged at me during the first set, the biker-guy security was on him like a pitbull.  Several audience members assisted security in controlling the furious madman.  I fell backwards into the drumset, but sustained no injuries.  He was thrown into the street and arrested soon after by local police.  I have no idea what happened to him.  I never saw him again.

The show went on, but it was a fight gig.  Half the band had canceled only hours beforehand, and I was standing there alone sharing the stage with only one other person, and 4 sets to slog through.  The knife attack was the highlight of the show, by a wide margin.

The "love" relationship, of course, was a thrilling, inspired misery-go-round to nowhere.  A fast, pointless repetition of exciting circles around the devil's well-worn path of passion and destruction, which end is as deadly and inevitable as the ride itself.  The guy who attacked me with the knife was right, when he'd told me it wasn't going to work out with the chick.  At the moment, though, I was inexorably committed to following the ride to the end of the line.

Fortunately, he didn't gun me down.  He did show me his spotless, gleaming .45 once, loaded with hollowpoint rounds.  The threat was thinly veiled.  But there was nothing to be done about it.  We were on the ride, and were going to follow it to the bitter end.

The story is told in part in the song "Los Angeles To Leadville."  The recording is a demo, but is more accurate, more true, than the improved versions I recorded later.  Unsurprisingly, the subject matter doesn't lend itself to accuracy or perfection:

Fortunately, we all made it off the ride with our lives, if not hearts and minds, intact. 

So what happened with the 21-year-old mariachi singer, gunned down by her husband last month in Mexico City?

According to Diario de Yucatán, Yrma Lydya was living with her producer, who'd made 3 albums for her.  After cheating on him, he told her to leave, so she married the lawyer who tried to bilk the producer's children out of their inheritance when he died. 



The producer boyfriend (pictured above) died from "Covid," and Yrma Lydya married another guy, who happened to be a lawyer.  Together, they tried to get some of the producer's money, based on a dubious claim that the producer had adopted her.

Adopted his live-in girlfriend.  I know Mexico is lawless, but that is profoundly unbelievable.  Even by Mexican legal standards.

In the same sentence, it also says that Yrma Lydya had become successful, so some of the producer's money had to be hers.  In an inheritance sense.  Like she was his daughter.


Give me a white-trash knife attack any day, over incomprehensible moral improvisation like that.  Next-level incredulity, falling like radioactive stars from the hateful, conniving heavens, on my head, at this moment, as we speak.

That's one of the things I like about not being fluent in the local language.  It's entirely possible, hopeful even, that I'm completely misunderstanding important details about this story. 

I certainly hope so.

Let's ask the guy from the disco what he thinks:

No info there.  I didn't understand a word of what I assumed was a detailed legal report set to music, but might have only been a piece of pink, danceable fluff.  Hard to tell.

So, ¿Qué pasó?

Infobae paints a clearer picture.  According to their report, the husband entered the restaurant, shot her 3 times, and fled in a black BMW driven by a chauffeur.  The name of the chauffeur is not known, but "it is known that he worked as a protector of the legal representative."

I'm not familiar with the world of high-powered legal representatives, but do they generally drive around with bodyguards?  Presumably armed?  They might.  But I'm more inclined to think:

Bienvenidos a México.

Behold, the power-smitten couple:


La Opinión reports that Jesús Hernández Alcocer (the lawyer/husband with the blacked-out eyes) was influential and controlling.  Which lines up with the murderer-with-a-bodyguard story.  According to the report, his relationship with Yrma Lydya was a toxic one.



"Like a little bird in a cage that perhaps wanted to get out, but could not, because he was the one who supported her, the one who helped her, she was very dependent on him," Dulce told the Spanish media El País.  And she pointed out that the singer depended on the permission of her husband, 79, even to attend rehearsals, and that she was guarded at all times by three bodyguards, hired by him.

“Here it is difficult to know if they put them in for protection, because of her insecurity, or because they wanted to control her.  She was a rattlesnake, she was only 21 years old, 21 years old," Dulce added.


I like that a lot.  In one moment she's a little bird in a cage, in the next, she's a rattlesnake.  I'm not going to demand which it is.  Surely, she was both. 

Bad girls always are.

Observe with amusement the band trying not to check her out while she's swaying her hips in her little tasseled skirt-thing in this video, for the perfect representation of the little bird/rattlesnake dichotomy.

That's a little bird playing rattlesnake (and vice-versa) if ever there was one.  Exceedingly appealing. 

A word to the wise:  All girls are bad girls.  Or can be.  Don't underestimate them.  They will consume you like a mouse in one ecstatic gulp, before you ever know what hit you.

Walk circumspectly around the danger zone.  Or drive yourself off the cliff and into the insatiable maw of La Catrina like so many before you.  Ifya want.  I wrote about the gangster chica who named herself "La Catrina" and was gunned down by Mexican security forces a couple years ago.  La Catrina is one of the ways death makes herself sexy to the Mexican world.  And indeed, La Catrina can be pretty hot.  But in the end, she'll gun you down at a restaurant, while you're.... confronting him over his infidelity with a dancer?


That's what the Diario de Yucatán story says.  That the doomed couple were engaged in divorce proceedings, when she confronted him at the restaurant over allegations of his infidelity with a "bailanda."

So, he shot her after she confronted him at a restaurant for seeing another youthful avian rattlesnake, destroying his life forever?  He decides to lease two exotic cars, and drives one off the cliff, in full sight of many witnesses, because one car isn't happy with the other car?

Don't people like it when members of the opposite sex fight over them? 

This story is rife with unbelievable, impossible events.  It is the stuff of legends, of endless stacks of airbrushed merchandise, a million tattoos for a million religiously-devoted fans, annual parades of flowers on her birthday, and epic, Oscar-nominated biopics directed by artful visionaries who know how to capture the histrionic toxicity of the relationships the rattlesnake entered into, while simultaneously depicting the free spirit of the small, weeping bird within.

I'm looking forward to it already.

Descansa en Paz, hermosa serpiente.




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Nathan Payne
Nathan Payne

I am a songwriter and bandleader who travels the world in search of the golden ticket. http://www.pablosmoglives.com


Replacing my blog at http://pablosmoglives.wordpress.com

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