Posted on July 19, 2017

‘Death Saint’ Cult: What You Never Knew

Leah Jessen, Lifezette, July 19, 2017

Cult of Santa Muerte

A man with a Santa Muerte Tattoo stands during the monthly mass in Tepito, Mexico City, Wednesday June. 1, 2016. (Credit Image: © Emilio Espejel/NurPhoto via ZUMA Press)

Texas officials and the Catholic Church have warned of a strange Mexican folk religion involving human sacrifice.

Drug traffickers earlier this month murdered 28 inmates at a prison in Guerrero, Mexico. The incident, as Mexican newspaper Reforma alleged, happened during a ritual performed by followers of the Santa Muerte cult. Followers of “the saint of death” have caused concern for law enforcement in the United States, too.


“Clad in a black nun’s robe and holding a scythe in one hand, Santa Muerte appeals to people seeking all manner of otherworldly help: from fending off wrongdoing and carrying out vengeance to stopping lovers from cheating and landing better jobs,” noted an Associated Press article from February 2017. “Others seek her protection for their drug shipments and to ward off law enforcement.”


“Part of the attraction to Santa Muerte, as several sources familiar with the devotion explained, is that she is seen as a non-judgmental saint that can be invoked for some not-so-holy petitions,” as the Catholic News Agency reported.


“We’re seeing more and more criminals . . . praying to Santa Muerte,” Robert Almonte, a former El Paso, Texas, narcotics detective, told KVUE News, an ABC-TV affiliate. The religion appears popular among drug traffickers and criminals and has become more prominent in central Texas.

Santa Muerte Figurine

June 1, 2016 – Mexico City. A woman prays with her Santa Muerte figurine. (Credit Image: © Emilio Espejel/NurPhoto via ZUMA Press)

“Almonte, who now gives seminars across the country educating law enforcement on the signs of the folk religion, said officers are now ‘encountering elaborate Santa Muerte shrines’ when entering homes on drug search warrants,” Fox News reported.