There was already “serious business” on the agenda at the 17th International Clown Convention in Mexico City, as the AP reports, including competitions, workshops, and discussion of the “official clown rulebook.”
But in a somber coincidence, this year’s convention takes place in Mexico just a few days after gunmen disguised as clowns shot dead Francisco Rafael Arellano Felix, former leader of a once-powerful drug cartel. The killing took place at a family party in Cabo San Lucas.
Clowns taking party in the convention firmly denied any link to drug violence:
A clown leader said if a real member of the profession had been involved in the shooting, they would have been easily identifiable by their costumes, masks and painting.
“The people who do that, they’re not clowns. I can swear on my mother’s grave it wasn’t a clown,” Tomas Morales, whose stage name is Clown Llantom, told Associated Press news agency.
They say clowns are frequently victims of robberies and their costumes and masks are then used to commit other crimes.
Hundreds of clowns at the convention took part in a 15-minute “laugh-a-thon” for peace.