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Devoted to DeathSanta Muerte, the Skeleton Saint$
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R. Andrew Chesnut

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199764662

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199764662.001.0001

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Black Candle

Black Candle

Protection and Harm

(p.96) Chapter 3 Black Candle
Devoted to Death

R. Andrew Chesnut

Oxford University Press

Very few media reports and films show anything but the dark side of the cult of Santa Muerte. Most American and Mexican nonbelievers, for example, have little idea that the Skinny Lady heals sickness, finds employment, and helps alcoholics and drug addicts in their struggles for sobriety. This chapter, however, focuses on the decidedly non-Christian and often amoral Santa Muerte who is asked to perform all sorts of dark deeds. It describes how Saint Death has become the patroness of the drug war. In other words, her devotion among the police, soldiers, and prison guards, those on the front lines of the Mexican government's war against the cartels, seems as widespread as it is among the traffickers they are fighting.

Keywords:   Santa Muerte, Saint Death, cults, devotees, dark deeds, drug traffickers, drug war

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