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A clown who kills a former drug lord at a children’s party cannot be a true jester, argue clown leaders seeking to defend their profession at a convention in Mexico City. Clown leader Tomas Morales — stage name Payaso Llantom — spoke to the Associated Press on Wednesday and wanted to make it perfectly clear that the hitman who gunned down a Mexican drug cartel leader at a children's birthday party last week was definitely not an actual working clown.

"The people who do that, they're not clowns. I can swear on my mother's grave it wasn't a clown," said Morales, whose costume includes frizzy blue hair and a tiny top hat. "We are not like that ... we are nonviolent."

He also pointed that clowns are crime victims too, and are often used as patsies by the same criminals who rip them off.

"We clowns suffer robberies," Morales said. "The criminals have stolen our vehicles, our costumes, our sound equipment, our makeup, and with these same tools we use to work, they use them to commit robberies."

Roughly 500 clowns gathered at the international convention, where they held a 15-minute anti-violence "laughathon." We're pretty sure that this clown, who is not a murderer, but is scary in his own way, was not present. 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.