As Mexican immigrants journey north, devotion to Santa Muerte has grown immensely in Chicago, Los Angeles, Tucson, Ariz., and other urban areas..br “The fact that Santa Muerte is here in Richmond, Virginia, where the Latino population doesn’t exceed six percent, is really significant,” said Andrew Chesnut, an expert on the Santa Muerte movement.
Eight people have been arrested in Mexico for the killing two 10-year-old boys and a 55-year-old woman in ritual sacrifices by the cult of La Santa Muerte, or Saint Death.
Until now there have been no confirmed cases of human sacrifices in Mexico to the saint.
“David Romo is not the Santa Muerte, and not the whole church, and if he made a mistake he should pay for it.”
David Romo, considered the high priest of a cult with millions of followers across the Americas, is accused of kidnapping and posing as a member of the feared Zetas drug cartel.
The “Santa Muerte
” cult has become popular among drug traffickers in Mexico, in part because followers believe the skeletal figure of the female “saint” may protect them from death or arrest.
Santa Muerte is not a Catholic saint, and in recent decades her popularity in Mexico, especially among the poor and criminal classes, has led to clashes with church officials and government authorities.
But in and around Los Angeles, where Santa Muerte services are held in at least three storefront shrines, a dash of pop theology and Southern California sunshine seems to have given the movement a mild New Age flavor.
Mexican federal authorities used bulldozers to bring down more than 30 chapels devoted to “Saint Death” – a figure that is worshipped by drug traffickers – in the northern city of Nuevo Laredo, the daily Reforma reported Wednesday.
Although the figure is venerated by people from many walks of life, the saint — Santa Muerte — has been adopted by drug gangs.
The heads of 11 decapitated bodies discovered in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula last week may have been burned in a ritual, investigators said.
Police said they found an altar to the skeletal figure of the “Santa Muerte
,” an unofficial patron saint of death, in the home of two men arrested in connection with the slayings, while several scorched spots were discovered in a nearby clearing.
Eduardo Ornelas, a spiritual adviser and owner of the Botanica San Miguel Arcangel, said he tells customers the Roman Catholic Church does not recognize Santa Muerte. Even so, for many in the Mexican community she has emerged as representing a dark, less-traveled path ultimately connected to God.
While a similar shrine to a Catholic saint would likely be a source of pride, many residents are appalled at a 75-foot-tall statue of a skeleton shrouded in black, Santa Muerte (Saint Death).
Although the Santa Muerte icon has existed for decades in working-class Mexican neighborhoods, never has it towered so ominously.
Followers of Mexico’s Santa Muerte death cult replaced their scythe clutching skeleton idol on Sunday with a pale angel in a gold dress in an attempt to make their beliefs more palatable to Christianity.
A former female wrestler, accused of killing 11 elderly women in the Mexican capital, had an altar to the skeletal, scythe-wielding Santa Muerte death cult figure in her home, newspapers said. Police searching the home of Juana Barraza, 48, after her arrest this week found a statue of Santa Muerte, or Saint Death, who is […]
NOGALES, Sonora – Not everyone fears the reaper. Vendors here sell a gruesome skeletal figure, dressed in a robe, holding the world in one hand and a scythe in the other. She is known as Santa Muerte – Saint Death or Holy Death – and her following is growing in Mexico, where chapels have sprung […]
Teachers, members of a local religious sect and motorcyclists thronged Mexico City streets on Sunday in three separate protests. Hundreds of teachers took to the streets in the early morning to demand salary increases as the National Union of Educational Workers reached the annual deadline for negotiating salary increases with the government. The deadline coincides […]
MEXICO CITY–Mexico’s government canceled the official recognition of a religious group devoted to the worship of the Santa Muerte, or “Saint Death” on Friday, arguing the group had violated its own statutes. While the cancellation will not prevent the group from continuing its religious practices, it does affect the church’s right to raise money and […]
Devotees of a death cult, who are fighting for recognition as a religion, participate in a protest in Mexico City yesterday. MEXICO CITY – Hundreds of Mexican devotees of Saint Death – a quasi-Catholic faith that worships the skeletal figure of death – marched through downtown Mexico City yesterday to demand respect for their religion […]
MEXICO CITY, Mexico (AP) — Praying to a statue of the Grim Reaper and collecting the faithful across the country, a small religious sect that worships death is now fighting the Mexican government for recognition. The church, an unofficial offshoot of Roman Catholicism, was registered as a religious group in 2003, allowing it to legally […]
MEXICO CITY – Deep in the heart of Mexico City’s toughest neighborhood, in streets plagued by drugs and prostitution, faithful Catholics are praying to a new and fearsome saint: death itself. They come by the dozens to the Mercy Church, a former house in the Tepito neighborhood stuffed with statues and posters of the Grim […]
Gangsters pray to Our Lady of Death for protection on Mexico’s meanest streets The heavily tattooed Mexican thief Angel La Rata, known on the streets as the Rat, patted down the brocaded gown of the skeletal figurine and clamped a lit cigarette between its jaws as he waited for the service to begin. A twice-jailed […]
Cult of ‘the skinny girl’ spreads MEXICO CITY — Swathed in a cloak and equipped with a long scythe, Mexico’s Santa Muerte, or St. Death, is a dead ringer for the Grim Reaper. But devotees like those in Mexico City’s notorious El Tepito slum insist she is a motherly angel of mercy, and they make […]