‘La Santa Muerte’ cult sees major growth in Mexican border town
“Lined up inside a dark-black painted building in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, worshippers of La Santa Muerte wait their turn to place their rolled-up paper prayers at the feet of a 5-foot tall statue of an idolized female skeletal figure. She is draped in a white, laced cloak and holds a small globe in one hand, and a tall wooden scythe in the other.
Many of the Santa Muerte statues started popping up in this city around 2009, when drug-related violence began to ravage this border town. More than 10,000 people have been killed in Ciudad Juárez alone since 2007, when Mexico’s outgoing President Felipe Calderón first declared war on the country’s drug cartels. The murder rate earned Ciudad Juárez the title of murder capital of the world for a while.”