Grammy-winning Mexican accordionist Ramon Ayala is being held in a Mexican police headquarters holding cell for up to 40 days along with several other musicians who performed at a drug kingpins Christmas party (narco fiesta) in Tepoztian, south of Mexica City, where three people were killed and eleven arrested during a military raid on Dec. 11.
“In the course of their (the musicians’) statements, there were a series of indications and a series of contradictions that made us change their status from that of witnesses to that of subjects of investigation.” -Attorney General Arturo Chavez
The raid was aimed at the Beltran Leyva drug cartel. Five days later, on Dec. 16, an elite Mexican naval assault team gunned down the leader of the Sinaloa-based cartel, Arturo Beltran Leyva, after an intense two hour shoot out Cuernavaca.
The musician is currently locked up at the federal police headquarters in Mexico City. According to Adolfo Vega Elizondo, attorney for Ayala and the band, the musician could be charged with money laundering and organized crime. The attorney was also quick to deny the accusations against his client:
They have never in any moment belonged to organized crime. They were offering their services as singers, as artists.-Adolfo Vega Elizondo
Based on the statements made by Arturo Chávez, a prosecutor with the Mexican attorney general’s office, Ayala was originally being questioned so that he could provide facts concerning the party. However, a series of contradictions made by the musician in his statement caused the authorities to treat him as a suspect.