(AP) Mexico clowns distance selves from costumed killer
By MARK STEVENSON
Associated Press Writer
Leaders of clowns gathered for a convention in Mexico City said Wednesday they are saddened that a killer disguised himself as a clown to kill a drug lord last week, and insisted no true member of their profession would have committed the crime.
Convicted drug trafficker Francisco Rafael Arellano Felix was shot to death Friday in the Baja beach resort of Los Cabos by a gunman wearing a clown costume, including a wig and a rubber nose. The dead man was the eldest brother of Mexico’s once-feared Arellano Felix clan.
Clown leader Tomas Morales, a 21-year veteran of the trade who goes by the stage name “Payaso Llantom,” said he was certain the killer was not a professional clown. He said clowns in Mexico, especially in outlying states, know each other and their costumes and makeup are individualized and recognizable.
Morales said there have been past cases of thieves stealing clown costumes to commit crimes.
An estimated 500 clowns from around Mexico and the rest of Latin America gathered Wednesday at the International Clown Meeting and held a 15-minute laugh-a-thon “to demonstrate their opposition to the generalized violence that prevails in our country.”
As hard as it might sound to be a clown in a country so riven by crime and violence, the laughing came naturally, Villanueva said.