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  • Roberto Martínez, Photo: Genevieve Russell

    Roberto Martínez, Photo: Genevieve Russell

    Unreleased Material from Roberto Martínez Documents Civil Rights Struggle

    New material released by Smithsonian’s Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage highlights a previously unreleased civil rights song by musician Roberto Martínez, founder of the M.O.R.E. record label. Inspired by the Black Panthers and Latin American revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara, and formed in 1969, Las Gorras Negras (The Black Berets) were a multi-ethnic group that fought for social transformation amidst Civil Rights movements in New Mexico. In 1972, after two of its members, Antonio Córdova and Rito Canales, were mysteriously murdered on the West Mesa of Albuquerque, New Mexico, Roberto Martínez, leader of Nuevo Mexicano mariachi Los Reyes de Alburquerque (The Kings of Albuquerque) and corridista (ballad composer), composed “El Corrido de Córdova y Canales” in order to revise seemingly contrived reports of the incident and to honor the slain Black Berets.... Read More