Jun 9, 2009, 2:11 PM
Post #7 of 7
Santa Muerte is not necessarily "drug culture"... although that was the "spin" used in the northern states and PAN administration when that religion's shrines were attacked (leaving alone those from the norteno cult of Jesus Malverde, also popular among the narco-trades... but -- being a norteno cult -- more likely to support PAN than PRD). Santa Muerte is popular in Mexico City and Veracruz among urban poor and working class. It's not so much a "drug cult" as one that appeals to, and re-enforces the values of, socially marginalized. As a religion, it tolerates people as they are ... . .. including not just drug addicts, drug dealers, thieves, and prostitutes but truckers, taxi drivers, vendors, garbage men, policemen etc. as well.
The image isn't so much a sign of death cult worship, but a "memento mori" and a reminder to live one's life to the fullest on this earth. Not so much the grim reaper as a reminder respect, but not fear, the reaper. It's no more (or less) superstition than any other religious image from any better known (and socially acceptable) religious belief system.
I worked with a company doing business with fruit vendors and truckers in Mexico City, and we kept a small SM shrine in the office (on my desk, as a matter of fact). Not that I'm a believer, but business went to hell when someone swiped the change that had been left as an offering at the shrine.