From the AP, Mexico destroys 'Death Saint' revered by criminals
Officials in Nuevo Laredo have destroyed more than 35 statues dedicated to a "Death Saint" popular with drug traffickers.
The statues, most depicting a robe-covered skeleton resembling the Grim Reaper, lined highways and roads in and around the Mexican city on the border with Texas. One of the statues was located at the base of an international bridge linking Mexico and the U.S.
The Death Saint is not recognized by the Roman Catholic Church, but has become popular among organized crime figures in Mexico.
Time magazine on Santa Muerte: The New God in Town
Now appearing in New York, Houston and Los Angeles: Santa Muerte. The personage is Mexico's idolatrous form of the Grim Reaper: a skeleton — sometimes male, sometimes female — covered in a white, black or red cape, carrying a scythe, or a globe. For decades, thousands in some of Mexico's poorest neighborhoods have prayed to Santa Muerte for life-saving miracles. Or death to enemies. Mexican authorities have linked Santa Muerte's devotees to prostitution, drugs, kidnappings and homicides. The country's Catholic church has deemed Santa Muerte's followers devil-worshiping cultists.Posted by Jill Fallon at April 7, 2009 10:46 AM | Permalink