Art, Features April 5, 2010 By John Dickie

bobadilla cover La Locha: Bobadillabobadilla title La Locha: Bobadilla

In a place like Sinaloa — the Pacific coast state famous for being the cradle of drug traffickers in Mexico — it’s almost impossible to carry out real journalism. After all, if the authorities don’t investigate drug gangs, then how is a reporter expected to? Some who have tried have paid with their lives.
     In this lethal setting, art becomes a powerful tool of expression, and in the last few years, as violence has exploded here, a brave new generation of cartoonists has erupted in the state capital, Culiacán. With few opportunities to publish their bold work in the mainstream press, a group of moneros got together to publish La Locha, a monthly comic infused with an angry blend of black comedy and societal critique.
     Planet recently met up with one of La Locha’s founders, the cartoonist Bobadilla, in a cantina in Culiacán, to have a chat about the situation in Sinaloa and what it means to be a cartoonist here. His strip Ñacas y Tlacuachi (loosely translates to “Rat and Weasel”), about two bumbling hitmen for hire, was recently picked up by start-up newspaper Ríodoce, a courageous new medium trying to tell the truth about what is happening in the drug war around the state. As a result of their candor, their offices fell victim to a grenade attack. Fortunately, nobody was killed. Bobadilla tells us about the incident, his work, and also a family tragedy that could have come straight from the pages of his cartoons. Like he says, in Sinaloa, reality is always stranger than fiction….

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