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La Santa Muerte

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posted on Sep, 1 2009 @ 11:13 PM
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(Continuing with the above excerpt from Kevin Freese on color symbolism, iconography and worship practices, at the point where the last post left off.)


The icon itself can come in many forms. Devotees wear small amulets and medals, commonly called milagros in Mexico. They also keep statues and statuettes for offerings. These practices seem to be more or less reminiscent of Catholic saint worship. However, unlike the case with mainstream Catholic practices, devotees of Santa Muerte, particularly incarcerated cult practitioners, will sometimes take the additional step of having the icon tattooed onto their bodies. This has been referred to as an offering of skin. In some cases, this is an image of Santa Muerte; in others, it seems to be the entire amulet that is tattooed. Such an application is not merely innovative; it is telling. While tattooing has become a mainstream practice in much of North America even among the middle class, in Latin America, tattoos remain the hallmarks of criminal affiliation and imprisonment.

The beliefs associated with the cult appear to be relatively consistent. Santa Muerte devotees attend to their practice by lighting candles and leaving offerings while reciting prayers, often ritual prayers, in the hope of receiving favors. Such offerings draw upon Christian symbolism. Tequila, for example, is a representation of the chalice of Christ. An apple represents original sin. There appears to be a tradition about what sorts of offerings are appropriate. Santa Muerte has been described as jealous about what offerings are given to her. However, gifts that are somehow personal or in keeping with other religious offerings are considered acceptable. Offerings are not given willy-nilly; there is a recipe and ritual associated with each offering, so as to ensure the granting of the desired effect.

Appropriate offerings can include money, flowers, candy, alcohol, tobacco, fruits, water, bread, or incense. Money is a preferred offering, particularly in businesses, when the profits from the first sale of the day are given. Flowers of various types are acceptable, but should be fresh. White roses are normally used for healing and health and are considered to be the preferred form. Red roses are used for love. Candy offerings are also a matter of personal preference, although chocolate is common, particularly for love, and honey is considered to be a standard offering. Wines and liquors are common offerings, especially tequila, rum, and sherry, as well as dark beer; these are usually served in glass bottles or cups but not plastic. Cigars and cigarettes are among the most preferred offerings; they should be lit. Smoke blown over the image is used to purify the altar. Fresh fruit is also used as an offering. Red apples are the commonest offering but other fruits are often left. The color of the fruit can correspond to the benefit sought, in a way comparable to candles. Water is considered to be a crucial offering and should be clear and still, preferably from a tap. Bread is also offered frequently, as is incense. In the case of incense, different types of incense are used for different ends, in varieties that are sold by vendors of esoteric commodities.


In this video, we see a guy during the installation of his tattoo of Santa Muerte.


In this next video, a visit is made to a store in San Luis Potosí where some "esoteric commodities" and/or Santa-Muerte-themed products are sold...Santa Muerte does not appear until about 2:45..."Nowadays everyone buys La Santa Muerte"...One of the store clerks advances a theory that we have not already heard, tying Santa Muerte's origins to a virgin nun saint, Santa Inés Del Monte ...who died, and only the bones were left, and then when she appeared she was in the form of a skeleton dressed as a bride...money + thank-you notes + prayers left attached to the Santa Muerte statue in the hope of a successful border crossing (and San Luis Potosí is not close to the border, either)...




posted on Sep, 10 2009 @ 10:07 AM
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reply to post by nine-eyed-eel
 

Now to compare Freese (on color and swag) to the also-authoritative El culto a la Santa Muerte: un estudio descriptivo (= A descriptive study of the Santa Muerte cult) ...(written by Araujo Peña, Sandra Alejandra, Barbosa Ramírez Marisela, Galván Falcón Susana, García Ortiz Aurea and Uribe Ordaz Carlos) and see if there are discrepant characterizations of the colors and accessories. Relevant bits follow...


...se le viste con una guadaña en una mano, por que se cree que el alma tiene una unión con el cuerpo que es un hilo de plata entonces la muerte corta ese hilo con su guadaña, o con un mundo para representar su reinado, o con una calavera para representar a la muerte ...se le viste de diferentes colores depende de lo que se le pide por ejemplo amarillo para el dinero, azul para la salud, los estudios y la verdad, blanco para el bien y la lealtad entre otros, negros para la brujería negra y para el mal ...
Para sus devotos , la señora, como la llaman afectuosamente, es capaz de aparecerse y manifestarse corporalmente o imprimir sus imágenes en diversos lugares, en libros y revistas en los que se promueve su culto, narran las intervenciones milagrosas que han vivido, en las que la santa muerte los ha librado de múltiples peligros y les ha ayudado a resolver problemas complicados ...
Son muchas las representaciones que existen de la muerte, así como nombres que tenido a lo largo de la historia, ya que muchas culturas la han adorado, en la actualidad es la imagen esquelética vestida con una túnica la imagen que la representa, se puede encontrar de diferentes colores cada uno simboliza algo en particular. Dependiendo de la petición del fiel, es el color de la muerte que se debe escoger para colocar en el altar. Blanca, salud; negra, fuerza y poder; morada, para abrir caminos; café para embocar espíritus del más allá , verde, para mantener unidos a los seres queridos; roja, para el amor y la amarilla, para la buena suerte.
Se dice que su día oficial es el 15 de agosto, declarado como "Día de la Santa Muerte" por sus fieles.
Aunque la Iglesia Católica condena esta veneración, denominándola como "pecaminosa", algunos asocian esta práctica con la Iglesia. Mientras tanto a la mayoría de sus seguidores parece no importarle la contradicción entre su religión y el culto pagano a "La Santa".
Por ello, se organizan rituales similares a los cristianos, incluyendo procesiones y oraciones con el fin de ganar su favor. Muchos hasta llegan a erigir su propio altar en su hogar, oficina o negocio para sentirse protegidos por ella. El altar suele consistir de una estatuilla cuyas medidas va de 15 centimetros a tamaño humano, rodeada de distintas ofrendas, entre las cuales se encuentran arreglos florales, frutas, inciensos, vinos, monedas, dulces y golosinas, además de velas, cuyo color varía de acuerdo a la petición.
La gente acude a ella para pedirle milagros o favores relacionados con el amor, la salud o el trabajo. Por otro lado, también se le pide por fines malévolos, tales como la venganza y la muerte de otros. Sus simpatizantes suelen identificarse al portar algún dije o escapulario de su imagen, mientras que otros optan por llevar su figura de manera indeleble, al tatuársela en la piel. Como elementos indispensables se exigen los puros, los cuales deben estar constantemente encendidos, y el imprescindible pedazo de pan ...
Inicialmente su devoción era exclusiva de criminales, incluyendo contrabandistas, pandilleros, ladrones y prostitutas, quienes suelen hacerle peticiones, tales como el librarles de las balas de la policia o de cualquier otro mal, como por ejemplo, la cárcel ...
La Santa Muerte es adorada y su rito ha sido prohibido y criticado por la Iglesia Católica, una escultura de un cuerpo esquelético envuelto en una túnica; recibe ofrendas como puros, alhajas y hasta vestidos de novia de quienes la invocan para conseguir marido ...
La ropa que viste la Santa Muerte tiene un significado especial. En primer lugar está su túnica que la cubre de la cabeza a los pies. Su simbolismo es sencillo pero profundo. Es la forma en que ocultamos nuestra verdadera apariencia tras otra. Así como la tela cubre al esqueleto que representa a la Señora, así nosotros ocultamos con nuestra carne el interior, aquello que nos delata como humanos y que tratamos por todos medios de disfrazar.
Con ropaje elegantemente decorado y del tamaño de una persona, la imagen de la Santa Niña Blanca muestra su guadaña mientras sostiene al mundo sobre la palma de la mano izquierda, en una vitrina colocada en la entrada de la Parroquia de la Misericordia, ubicada en la Colonia Morelos.
Pensemos que una cara bella lo es por la piel y el color de la misma. Pero si escarbamos hallaremos la calavera que en poco se distingue de la que trae nuestro vecino, nuestro compañero del trabajo, nuestro mejor amigo o nuestro más odiado enemigo. De allí que la túnica de la Santísima oculta el destino que todos llevamos en nuestro cuerpo. En la mayoría de las representaciones la túnica de la Señora es blanca.
La Guadaña...este instrumento de labranza representa la justicia implacable, no de ella si no del ser supremo que gobierna y rige la vida de todos, es la naturaleza misma que nos impone morir un día para cumplir con el ciclo iniciado al nacer. Todo cae finalmente bajo la guadaña de su muerte, y su vez esa hoz larga y siniestra, nos indica que en el camino de la muerte no hay distinciones. Es signo de equidad y armonía.
El mundo, su significado es muy claro, la señora no tiene fronteras está en todo lugar y no distingue entre los diferentes hombres que habitan la tierra, pues toda esta es suya.
La balanza...este instrumento es una clara alusión a la equidad, la justicia y la imparcialidad. También representa la voluntad divina. Normalmente la balanza se usa para realizar un trabajo o para indagar la verdad sobre un suceso.
El reloj de arena, es la medida de tu vida sobre la tierra, es un reloj de arena porque basta con girarlo para volver a comenzar. Esto es muy importante ya que tu vida, como la de todos, es ciclica la muerte es solo un cambio, algo semejante a voltear el reloj y comenzar de nuevo ...


(translation to follow in next post, no room here obviously)

[edit on 10-9-2009 by nine-eyed-eel]



[edit on 10-9-2009 by nine-eyed-eel]



posted on Sep, 11 2009 @ 02:03 AM
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reply to post by nine-eyed-eel
 

(okay, parenthetical=interpolation, everything else=translation)
...She is seen with a scythe in one hand, because it is believed that the soul has a connection with the body that takes the form of a silver cord, and then Death cuts that cord with Her scythe...
(the silver cord is interesting, I recall it not only from 19th century poetry, but I do think both Robert Monroe + Oliver Fox mention the silver cord as an actual observable item, at some point, in their separate accounts of astral travel/OOBEs, if memory serves)
or She is depicted with a globe of the world, in order to express Her dominion, or with a skull to represent mortality...
She is seen in different colors, depending on what it is that is being asked of Her, for example, yellow in order to obtain money...
(Freese gives gold to obtain money, yellow to combat addictions (yellow candles are also deemed to combat addiction in the similar-but-different Argentine male-death-god cult of San La Muerte, by the way) but gold does look like yellow)
blue is for health, educational success and to obtain the truth, white is for goodness and interpersonal loyalty
(Freese gives white for purification, and prevention of envy among relatives)
and black is for black magic witchcraft, and in order to obtain an evil result ...
To Her believers, the Lady, as they call Her affectionately, is able to not only manifest Herself as an apparition, but also to take on an actual physical bodily form...
(yeah, I failed to point this out properly before, in the youtube video already posted "FUROR POR LA SANTA MUERTE EN SALTILLO part two", near the start, that young woman "Azul" is also testifying/making claims about Santa Muerte physically manifesting like that)
and/or She is able to imprint Her image and likeness upon whatever various place...In the books and magazines that promote Her cult, the believers narrate the tales of Her miraculous interventions in their lives, in which the Death Saint did free them from numerous dangers and/or helped them to figure out complicated life problems...
Many and numerous are the extant visual depictions of Death, just like Death has had many and various names down through the length of history when many cultures already adored Death. But in the present day, it is the image of a skeleton dressed in a robe that represents Her, one can find such in various different colors each of which symbolizes something in particular. The color of the Saint Death that should be chosen for placement on the altar depends upon the nature of the worshipper's request. White for health
(note that they said above "blue for health" already, and Freese says white is purification and prevention of envy among relatives)
black for strength and power, purple to open the way, to clear obstacles from a path, coffee-colored to bring in spirits from the Other Side, green to maintain unity among the loved ones, red for love and yellow for good luck ...
(again, Freese gives yellow for recovery, and it was yellow for money a minute ago (but money is like good luck), Freese says purple for health, green for legal matters, lawyers)
It is said Her official day is the fifteenth of August, proclaimed "Santa Muerte Day" by Her faithful.
Even though the Catholic church condemns this reverence, calling it "sinful", some do still associate these practices with regular Catholicism. Meanwhile it seems like the majority of the followers aren't bothered by the contradiction between their religion and the pagan cult of "La Santa".
Along those lines, they organize rituals similar to Christian rituals, including processions and prayers, with the goal of gaining Her favor. Many have come to erect their own private altar in their home, office, or business in order to feel themselves as being under Her protection. The altar customarily tends to consist of a statue or statuette, whose measurements can run from say 15 centimeters up to actual full-human-size, surrounded by various different offerings, among which are found flower arrangements, fruit, incense, booze, money, candy and treats, besides candles, the color of which varies in accordance with the prayer request.
The people come up to Her in order to beg Her for miracles or favors regarding love and health and work. On the other hand, they also beg Her for malevolent end results, like revenge or the death of another. Her flock tend to distinguish themselves by wearing some trinket or amulet with Her image, while still others opt to carry Her likeness in a permanent form, tattooing Her on their skin. Among necessary items required are cigars, there always should be one constantly lit, plus the unavoidable piece of bread...
Initially Her devotion was limited to criminals, including smugglers, gangbangers, thieves, robbers, and prostitutes, in the habit of praying to Her for protection from police bullets and other bad things, like jail...
(one of the 12 Alfareria Street videos also listed homosexuals as early adopters)
Holy Saint Death is adored and Her ceremony has been prohibited and put down by the Catholic Church, a sculpted skeleton body wrapped up in a robe receives offerings of cigars and gems and even wedding dresses, from those who invoke Her in order to attain marriage ...
The clothing that Saint Death wears has special meaning. In the first place there's Her robe, that covers Her from head to foot. The symbolism of the robe is simple but profound. In the same way we hide our true appearance from all others. Just like the cloth covers the skeleton that represents the Lady, we conceal our inner selves behind our flesh, our inner selves that we denounce, like humans would, and that we try in every way to disguise.
With elegantly-decorated apparel and as big as a person, the effigy of the Holy White Little Girl shows Her scythe while at the same time supporting the world in the palm of Her left hand, from inside a glass case located in the entranceway of the Church of Pity, in Colonia Morelos.
We might think that a pretty face is pretty, because of the skin, and the color of it. But if we scratch at it we will discover the skull and that skull has but little to distinguish it from the skulls being carried around inside our neighbor, and our partner at work, our best friend or our most hated enemy. In there is the place that the robe of the Saint hides the destiny that we all carry around inside our bodies. In most versions the robe of the Lady is white.
The scythe...this farm implement stands for implacable justice, not Hers and not that of the Supreme Being who governs and directs the life of all, it is Nature itself who imposes death on us, one day, in order to complete the cycle initiated at birth. Everybody finally falls, under the scythe of their death, and the long and sinister scythe indicates to us that on the road of death there are no distinctions. It is a symbol of equality and harmony.
The world, its significance is very clear, the Lady has no borders, She is in all places and does not distinguish between the different men who inhabit the earth, because all of it is Hers.
The scales ...this instrument is a clear allusion to equality, justice and impartiality. It also represents the Divine Will. Normally the scales are used to accomplish a job, or to investigate the truth of some result.
The hourglass is the measure of your life on earth, it is an hourglass because upending it is all it takes to return you to the beginning. This is already very important, that your life, like everybody's, is cyclical, and death is only a change, something similar to flipping over the hourglass and starting again...

(the end got fairly philosophical there, for an academic piece,huh)




[edit on 11-9-2009 by nine-eyed-eel]

[edit on 11-9-2009 by nine-eyed-eel]



posted on Sep, 11 2009 @ 07:19 AM
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This is a great thread, thanks for posting it, OP.

I became aware of and interested in this cultos perhaps 3-5 years ago, but information in English has been scarce. I knew the group was connected with narcotraficantes and some of the poorer communities of Mexico, as well as condemned (for obvious reasons) by the Catholics...but I didn't realize some of its connotations were so dark.

I collect religious paraphanalia from around the world, and I acquired a small Santa Muerte amulet a few years ago. I will add photos below; I don't know the significance of any of these objects. If anyone reading this knows, explanations would be most appreciated.

(Please see following post)

[edit on 9/11/09 by silent thunder]



posted on Sep, 11 2009 @ 07:29 AM
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(Please see my post above in connection with the following photos.)


1) Photo #1, left to right: Paper slip in Spanish; golden-colored seeds or beans with a few red circular ones mixed in (top), bag with metal flat stattuette of S. Muerte and coin-like disk labeled "$5" (below); vial of red liquid; small pink candle:



2) Photo #2: closeup of bag/statuette/coin described above:



3) Photo #2: partial closeup of paper slip:





[edit on 9/11/09 by silent thunder]



posted on Sep, 15 2009 @ 11:34 PM
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reply to post by silent thunder
 


Cool-oh.
I don't have much good insight on your items, but, your post is exactly the kind of thing I was hoping to elicit with this thread...yupyup.

On the paper it does say Muerte querida de mi corazón = Death, beloved of my heart (more or less - my translation/version)...
That line does appear in that one prayer being read aloud, 12th post on 1st page, video called BRUTAL ADDICTION TATTOO.

The little red velvety-looking pouch the amulet is laying on is interesting, I don't think I see why it has the size/shape/properties it does, hmm.
What metal do you think the little figure is composed of?

As for the red oil, is it scented like something recognizable? I haven't posted it yet but I am gathering flower and herb and incense data, I'll post it soon (actually I have to go to work in a few minutes, or I'd start typing it in now)...

That's what I wonder about the seeds... (stupid question occurs to me)...could they maybe not be seeds but like lumps of some granular resinous incense, like myrrh looks like...(and then the red ones could be another type/flavor of incense, thrown in to assort the mix).

Gotta go but here is an enjoyable song (ain't found the words all out yet, but)...

Besides the actual Beto Quintanilla song itself (I ain't sure yet whether it is actually called "La Santísima Muerte" or "A La Santísima Muerte"...+ so far have not found the lyrics anyplace yet (doing it the old fashioned way, listening, I have transcribed 18 out of the 30 lines in the song...not enough to go ahead and translate (stuck on line 3, for example, all I can make out clearly is "narco") but, what I do have so far is good material) there's some interesting stuff that flashes by quickly in this here little video:
at 45 seconds there's a Santa Muerte effigy, sharply dressed in "clothes" of crisply folded cash money -
at 1:15 the captioned photo self-identifies its subject as being an "altar at La Colonia Jardines in Tepeyac"...Tepeyac (in the DF, Mexico City's federal district) is usually said to be the place where the Virgin of Guadalupe (Mary, mother of Jesus, that one) famously appeared to the Mexican Indian peasant Juan Diego several centuries ago -
then there's a succession of Santa Muerte products/statues, I notice particularly the ones in kit form like -
at 1:24 "La Santa Muerte de la luz" = of the light, dressed in her purple robe -
at 1:34 a whole like hobby kit for "La Madrina" (la madrina= the godmother, but it's also like the one who you have the fix in with from your bribes...like if a truckdriver kicked his freight dispatcher some cash back when said dispatcher gave said driver the good-money trips, that dispatcher = la madrina), again dressed in purple, and the packaging is telling you "dibuje y gane" = draw a picture and gain, plus "this has crossed your path in order to make you a good man" and "Consecrate this mystic shield, protect your house" -
at 1:47 "La Santa Muerte Abre Caminos", dressed in gold this time...the Opener of the Ways...this chunk is actually reminiscent of the voodoo/Caribbean/hoodoo-American flavor-system, to my eye (but usually I don't see that in the Santa Muerte corpus, I suspect that theory of her origins is weak and wrong, overall = my working hypothesis/bias) -
at 1:52 a couple of Santa Muerte tattoos -
at 2:05 it appears that a magazine article is being depicted (=another source to run down, if so) titled "Altar in (the) Colonia Revolucion (neighborhood)" -
finally at like 2:33 a similar glossy-looking print+photo chunk, titled Rituales con la Santa Muerte = "Rituals with the Saint Holy Death" and the subtitle appears to say Consagre un bálsamo para recuperar la clientela perdida = "Consecrate some balsam in order to get those lost customers back"...

[edit on 16-9-2009 by nine-eyed-eel]



posted on Sep, 16 2009 @ 02:06 AM
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Originally posted by nine-eyed-eel
reply to post by silent thunder
 


Cool-oh.
I don't have much good insight on your items, but, your post is exactly the kind of thing I was hoping to elicit with this thread...yupyup.

On the paper it does say Muerte querida de mi corazón = Death, beloved of my heart (more or less - my translation/version)...
That line does appear in that one prayer being read aloud, 12th post on 1st page, video called BRUTAL ADDICTION TATTOO.

The little red velvety-looking pouch the amulet is laying on is interesting, I don't think I see why it has the size/shape/properties it does, hmm.
What metal do you think the little figure is composed of?

As for the red oil, is it scented like something recognizable? I haven't posted it yet but I am gathering flower and herb and incense data, I'll post it soon (actually I have to go to work in a few minutes, or I'd start typing it in now)...

That's what I wonder about the seeds... (stupid question occurs to me)...could they maybe not be seeds but like lumps of some granular resinous incense, like myrrh looks like...(and then the red ones could be another type/flavor of incense, thrown in to assort the mix).


First, thanks for the thread and the wealth of information. I appreciate your time and effort, and I'm surprised there hasn't been more input in this thread.

RE your questions: the metal figure is gold-colored but obviously of a cheap material...maybe tin? The coin that says "$5" is plastic. Interestingly, both of these are AFFIXED to the OUTSIDE of the red felt bag. There is nothing inside the bag.

The seeds could be inscence as you suggest, I suppose, but they look to me like wheat seeds that have been spray-painted gold, while the round, spherical red ones look like dried berries of some sort. There are only a few of the red ones: maybe 3 to 5. There are dozens of gold ones.

As for the red liquid in the vial...I have no idea what it is and frankly I'm too superstitious/weirded-out by this movement in general to even open it. It looks like simply food-colored water but I suppose it could be any number of things.

Thanks again for all the info...



posted on Sep, 16 2009 @ 02:27 PM
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Here's another Santa-Muerte-altar-plus-prostitution story. (Something about it makes me think of the Santa-Muerte+kidnapping tradition...in the sense of how prostitution human-trafficking-style and kidnapping do conceptually overlap.)

This article was written by Gary L. Wright and Franco Ordonez, appearing 04/07/2009.

Man convicted of forcing women to work as sex slaves after he smuggled them to U.S.


Charlotte, N.C. - Women and girls as young as 16 were smuggled into this country from Mexico and brought to Charlotte to work as prostitutes. For $25 and $30, authorities said, they performed sex acts - sometimes with 20 men a day.

Jorge Flores Rojas, a 44-year-old undocumented Mexican national accused of running the sex trafficking ring, has been sentenced in Charlotte to 24 years in prison ... He was ordered to pay $117,000 in restitution to one woman. He also must register as a sex offender.

Flores told federal agents he paid smugglers $2500 apiece to bring some of the women from Mexico into the United States and deliver them to his apartment in Charlotte. He then forced the women to work as prostitutes in Charlotte; Myrtle Beach, S.C.; and Washington, D.C., court documents said.

Flores would drive the women to a hotel or to clients' homes, where they would perform sex acts, according to court documents. The girls told authorities they made about $2500 a week and split the money with Flores.

Authorities said one of the women testified at the sentencing Monday that Flores forced them to pray at a shrine to Santa Muerte (Saint of Death), a religious figure who receives prayers for luck and protection. Flores told her the saint protects him and would punish her if she ever tried to escape or report him ...

Flores plans to appeal the sentence. He doesn't deny what he did was illegal ... but feels the length of the sentence is unfair ....

Flores pleaded guilty in October to two counts of sex trafficking of minors and one count of transporting an adult across state lines for sex.

Federal prosecutors accused him of trafficking a 16-year-old girl between the District of Columbia and Charlotte to engage in sex. He forced the victim, an undocumented Honduran national, to go to Charlotte with him.

According to testimony, "the defendant repeatedly sexually and physically abused her in order to force her to perform commercial sex acts," the U.S. Justice Department said in announcing Flores' sentence.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kenny Smith said all of the women controlled by Flores came from Spanish-speaking countries, primarily from Mexico. He said Flores kept the women in his apartment, and though he didn't lock them up, they were afraid to flee.

"The women were terrified of him," Smith said. "They were in this country illegally, didn't speak English and didn't know anybody. They were afraid to go to the police."

In 2006, law enforcement authorities told The Charlotte Observer that Hispanic women were brought in and out of Charlotte every week to work at brothels connected to sex-trafficking rings on the East Coast.

At night, men lined up outside the houses to wait their turn with young Latino women held as sex slaves. A typical session lasted 15 minutes and cost each customer about $30, undercover officers said. Some women had sex with dozens of men a night.

Authorities said dozens of such rings were operating in the region.

In February, Franklin Yasir Mejia-Macedo was sentenced to 12 years in prison for a sex trafficking ring that also reached from Charlotte to Washington, D.C. According to court documents, Mejia was prostituting young women from Mexico and Honduras. They promoted their business by passing out business cards for services such as "Flowers Home Delivery" and "Hair Cuts For Men Only."

The trafficking rings grow out of the Carolinas' influx of illegal immigrants.

More than 390,000 immigrants are estimated to live illegally in North Carolina. Many are men who left their wives and families to find work in the U.S.

To keep a constant cycle of prostitutes in Charlotte, traffickers exchange the women with other pimps and handlers in cities such as Raleigh and Greensboro, often for as little as $130 dollars each ... The women are moved so frequently that some no longer know what city they're in.

Most of the women are in the country illegally and are reluctant to report the crimes. Often locked in rooms with few clothes and no telephone, they fear being beaten if they try to escape.

At one Charlotte brothel, shut down in 2004, customers paid a house manager who would give them a ticket, a playing card or a bead. The men then gave those items to women inside as proof of payment ...

John Price, a special agent with the FBI in Charlotte, said traffickers send recruiters to Latin American countries looking for vulnerable girls seeking a better life. The recruiter offers the girls an attractive price to smuggle them to the United States and then find them a job to pay off their debt for getting them into the country.

"They sell them on a false bill of goods and make these false promises and get them up here. And when they're up here and under the control of the trafficker, who the victim is wholly dependent on at that point, the stakes of the game change."

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


(Now obviously, I quoted that story past the immediately relevant Santa Muerte aspect...reason being, I get the feeling maybe there will be several more of these Santa-Muerte/prostitution overlaps, and so why not do related background while I'm already swimming in the article, maybe...but maybe it was just irrelevant, depends what articles + links turn up later...).

This here next video, IN ENGLISH, does suffer a little bit from a tone-of-voice problem, like he was an exchange student explaining farm-animal-lifestyles to forest creatures. But still it has a couple okay-good bits.

The video mentions prisoners when touching on the cult's murky origins...cites the 2,000,000 adherents figure...
At about 1:15 David Romo Guillén appears, not as impressive as a pope, or even most gurus, seemingly, to my eye...he gets quoted to the effect of "If you follow Santa Muerte, you are protected now and in the afterlife"...maybe the poor and powerless really do desire protection, but that wouldn't sell well everywhere...
At 2:24 a man blowing smoke on a statue to purify it...
At 2:40 some non-Mexican foreigner tells how Santa Muerte miraculously aided his son, while his son was being kidnapped, (but then the kidnappers were also praying to Santa Muerte, too...hmm)...

At the finish reporter/narrator seems to present an idealized/everyman/Animal-Farm version of a Santa Muerte devotee's narrative..."WE ALL HAVE A ROUGH-AND-TUMBLE LIFE...SANTA MUERTE DOESN'T JUDGE US...SHE ACCEPTS US FOR WHO WE ARE, AND PROTECTS US"...icky fish balls, fer sure, coming out of his mouth.












[edit on 16-9-2009 by nine-eyed-eel]

[edit on 16-9-2009 by nine-eyed-eel]



posted on Sep, 16 2009 @ 10:28 PM
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This here article, written by Mica Rosenberg and appearing 04/10/2009, also has a little interview with David Romo Guillén...Mexico's 'Saint Death' cult says is drug war victim


Followers of Mexico's "Saint Death" cult figure, revered by thieves and drug runners but also law-abiding housewives, say their faith is being persecuted by the government's war against drug cartels.

Worshipers of the cult figure plan to march through Mexico City later on Good Friday in the latest of a series of protests after soldiers and police bulldozed elaborate roadside shrines to the death saint near the northern border with Texas.

Known as "Santa Muerte" in Spanish, the saint is often depicted as a skeletal "grim reaper" draped in white satin robes, beaded necklaces and carrying a scythe. Followers leave offerings of tequila, rum, beer, cigarettes, cash, flowers and candy at altars adorned with rosaries and candles.

Mexican authorities destroyed more than 30 such shrines erected near the city of Nuevo Laredo last month on the grounds they were built without the proper licenses ...

"We are doing these marches because there has been a lot of aggression from the government...It seems like they are fighting a holy war," said 52-year-old vendor Ernesto Hernandez at a protest last week.

The Catholic church frowns on the cult, whose origins may trace back to Aztec and Mayan death-gods or to ancient European traditions, but many devotees call themselves Catholics.

The lure of the death saint is that she is said to honor requests without judging them. Her followers may number up to 5 million, according to the cult's high priest David Romo.

They range from police officers and politicians to kidnappers and gangsters who get tattoos of the saint and are said to ask her for protection before setting out on hits.

Romo says his church condemns violence and has no links to drug traffickers, but he leaves the door open to everyone.

"Christ went to see prostitutes, thieves, all marginalized people," Romo said in his cramped office in the saint's largest sanctuary in Mexico City, a run-down storefront around the corner from a street lined with prostitutes ...

In 2007, gunmen from the powerful Gulf Cartel handcuffed three men and shot them dead at a Santa Muerte altar in Nuevo Laredo, leaving lit candles, flowers and a taunting message for rivals.

At the shrine in Tepito - a rough part of the capital with a market that reputedly sells contraband and drugs - chicken coops line the walls near the pews facing two life-sized skeleton statues wearing glittering dresses and crowns.

Santa Muerte offers a refuge to people who can be shunned by the traditional Catholic hierarchies. "If a narco opens the doors of his heart and comes to us asking for spiritual assistance wanting to convert, we say welcome," Romo said ...

"If you go to the prisons you are not only going to see people there tattooed with the 'Santa Muerte.' You'll see the Virgin of Guadalupe or Christ himself. It's illogical. We are going to end up shutting down all the churches," Romo said.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


Kevin Freese (in "The Death Cult Of the Drug Lords", previously linked) has a little bit to say on David Romo Guillén, as follows here.


The Santa Muerte cult appears to have little, if any, official organization. However, one personality is at the forefront of the cult. Monsignor David Romo Guillén ...(also known as) the Lord of the Rings (El Señor de los Anillos) is the Archbishop and Primate of the so-called Mexican-U.S. Catholic Apostolic Traditional Church (Católica Apostólica Tradicional México-USA ...(also known as) la Iglesia Católica Tradicionalista Mex-USA). Romo is a married father of five and a veteran of the Mexican Air Force, in which he claims to have served as an administrator. He is also the self-professed leader and guardian of the Santa Muerte cult. Since 2002, he has been leading masses at the National Sanctuary of Santa Muerte, located at Bravo 35 in the Venustian Carranza delegation. Romo now boasts an attendance of 200-300 parishioners, mostly youths, at each mass. Many of these youths dress up in costumes for the occasion. The masses are held at midnight ...

Romo is also an ardent defender of the cult. When José Guadalupe Martín Rábago, head of the Mexican Episcopal Conference (CEM) (Conferencia del Episcopado Mexicano), and Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera described the Santa Muerte cult as Satanic, Romo filed a defamation complaint before the Public Ministry (Ministerio Público). Martín stated that he would request the Interior Secretariat (SEGOB) ... headed by Interior Secretary (Secretario de Gobernación) Santiago Creel Miranda, to review the process of religious registration. Romo then stated that the devotion to Santa Muerte was not different from devotion to saints in other churches. He argued that Santa Muerte was a tool for evangelizing people in the marginalized sectors of society just as the Virgin of Guadalupe was a vehicle for converting Native Americans. At the time, SEGOB refused to intervene.

In April 2005, however, despite marches and protests by Santa Muerte adherents the previous month, SEGOB concluded in a 25-page resolution that the Santa Muerte Cult did not meet the qualifications for a religion and removed the Mexican-U.S. Catholic Apostolic Traditional Church from the list of recognized religions, citing theological doctrine dating back as far as the Council of Trent. Romo issued a call for Santa Muerte devotees to vote against Secretary Creel's party, the National Action Party (PAN/Partido Acción Nacional), and Creel himself in the 2006 Mexican Presidential Elections. Romo also began a series of meetings with Mexico City magistrates to promote social development and community service projects that would be undertaken by Santa Muerte adherents under the new blanket organization, the National Association of Altars and Sanctuaries of Santa Muerte (Asociación Nacional de Altares y Santuarios de la Santa Muerte), which is effectively replacing the Mexican-U.S. Catholic Apostolic Traditional Church. The organization includes 100 of the 120 altars that display Santa Muerte in Mexico City.

The irony in this conflict is that the very forces that initially sought to stamp out the cult seem to have had no effect on the numbers of people participating in it. However, the legal action has generated a large amount of press attention, which has offered legitimacy to Romo. Although there has been no historic guidance or central organization for the Santa Muerte cult, a sense of unity and order may be in the process of being established. Romo, who seems to have been little more than a leader of a local group, may become the effective leader.


[edit on 16-9-2009 by nine-eyed-eel]



posted on Sep, 20 2009 @ 04:27 PM
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Here's a short article with a few pics and some info, including the "HOLY DEATH PRAYER For all the days. "

www.luckymojo.com...



posted on Sep, 23 2009 @ 07:07 PM
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reply to post by silent thunder
 


Nice find, in the article same page you link to they mention the Abrus precatorius plant, and when I looked at the photos of the beans/seeds here Abrus precatorius seeds .jpg on Wikipedia they sound like the red items in your seed bag, or check 'em out and tell me not so...and then likewise in the same sentence from your link they mention grains of wheat (and then also rice, but anybody would recognize rice, wheat not so much), so maybe the other non-red-seeds you have are wheat, maybe...?

[color=F62817]Also evidently the red seeds of Abrus precatorius are POISONOUS...MORE POISONOUS THAN RICIN...or rather, to be accurate, the active ingredient abrin is...according to Wikipedia on Abrus precatorius.

I've seen the other-names-used "jequirity" and "rosary pea" some years ago in those witchcraft ethnobotanical type catalogs...just inexact memories of the other ethnobotanical+ etc in those catalogs and the plant's evidently firm Caribbean presence Integrated Taxonomic Integration Sysytem on Abrus precatorius are making me count this plant's association with the cult as leaning towards the African-Santa-Muerte-origins concept (not like it's evidence, just a first thought).

As for the Novena I think so far currently I can link to or cite four different versions of Santa Muerte novenas...some have different material completely, some in a different order...I will start translating + comparing novena versions, or selected bits eventually, on here...
But another good bit in your find on the jaculatoria (which so far I haven't found varying, unlike the novenas, the versions are consistent) is that bit about a string soaked in the semen of the prayer-victim-to-be...I never had heard that before, so far...and plus (interestingly/surprisingly to me), there is a similar (to the jaculatoria and that there Prayer of Intranquility) prayer to, again, the Argentine male-death-god San La Muerte (which I'll post eventually, as well) which I have read about in several sources, but in none of them was there the string-soaked-in-semen element....



posted on Sep, 24 2009 @ 06:27 PM
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Finally I have as promised been able to determine/decipher the words to the Beto Quintanilla "La Santísima Muerte" song posted above. (For me, the two hardest things in Spanish are understanding songs and understanding Spanish over the phone - you would think that's just cause I'm half-deaf and need to lip-read, but, I can understand radio announcers okay...but maybe they are louder...but I digress as always.) But, it took me studying this other devotee/fan video of a version of the song done by Los Cadetes de Linares to get all the words the first time, because Beto Quintanilla (and I mean this as a compliment) very much has that (and this is just my own impressions/experiences talking here) pure-old-school-country-Mexican-minor-key-talking-like-you're-making-Three-Stooges-noises-eeeet!-nyuck-nyuck-nyuck thing going on, that's part of how he seems real and good...whereas Los Cadetes de Linares sure do enunciate a lot better. But, there are slight differences in the wording between the two versions, and since there is only one word I can't make out in the Los Cadetes version, versus the same word + another sentence in Beto's version, I am going to transcribe the Cadetes version, and give Beto's as a (parenthetical variant). Still haven't found the actual lyrics on the net yet, don't know if it started with Beto, Cadetes, or elsewhere...plus that one missing word...but I figure if I post this now, I will immediately run across the lyrics (once you buy a new replacement cellphone, you find the lost one...type of thing) somewhere...and I have already listened to the songs 500 times, I am done with that one word for right now... close enough for government work.
Besides the lyrics to follow, this video has some other points of interest...the text at 0:36 and again at 1:23 reads:
Te amo y te respeto mas que a mi vida
puesto que tu serás mi muerte
mi santísima muerte ...which I would give as:
I love you and I respect you more (because of the fact) that in my life
it is (a) given that you will be my death
my holiest Saint Death.
At 2:13, when the singing is about politicos=politicians, two photos of politicos are shown...the first appears to be Carlos Salinas de Gortari, President of Mexico from 1988 to 1994, the second I don't recognize (I don't know whether the inclusion of these men's photos means that they were widely known or popularly suspected to be bigtime Santa-Muerte-istas, another hint to do research on).
At 2:32 check out the owl by her feet (another associated iconographic entity).
At 2:41, when they are singing "PERO NUNCA HAY QUE ABUSAR" = it is never necessary to be abusive/there's no excuse for abuse, the photo shown is Ralph, the bully from The Simpsons, which does amuse me...




[edit on 24-9-2009 by nine-eyed-eel]



posted on Sep, 24 2009 @ 08:28 PM
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So here's (how I hear) the lyrics:

Muchos tienen un corrido
El bueno, el malo y el fuerte
Hay de narcos y de damas
y de ilegales sin suerte
Hoy le canto a La Patrona
A La Santísima Muerte

La Muerte está en todo lado (La Muerte está en todos lados)
de ya no quieren hablar
No hay que olvidar que nacimos
Y un dia nos van a enterrar
Diosito nos dio la vida
Y Ella nos la va quitar

Yo adoro y quiero a La Muerte
Y hasta le tengo un altar
Y hay millones que le rezan
La iglesia empieza temblar
Abiertamente hay curas
que le empiezan a rezar (que a La hacen adorar)

Mafiosos y de la ley
Se La empiezan a tatuar
Politicos y altos jefes
También le tienen su altar
Yo le prendo (word-I-can't-understand)
No es un delito rezar

A La Santísima Muerte
Mucho La usan para mal (Muchos La usan para el mal)
Es bueno que te arrepientas
pero nunca hay que abusar (pero no hay que abusar)
La Muerte es muy vengativa
Contigo puede empezar (Si no le crees, no hables mal)

Which I would render as...

A ballad has a lot of things
The good, the evil, the strong
There are dope-traffickers, and ladies,
and luckless illegals
Today I sing to The Patroness
To The Most Holy Saint Death

Death is all around us
People don't want to talk about it any more
But there ain't no forgetting that we are born
and someday they are going to bury us
Sweet-little-God/good-old-God, He gave us this life,
and Saint Death, She is going to take it away from us

I adore and I love Death
and I have an altar to Her
And there are millions that pray to Her
The Church is beginning to tremble
Openly there are priests
That are beginning to pray to Her (that make adoration to Her)

Mafiosos, and those of the Law,
are beginning to tattoo themselves with tattoos of Her
Politicians, and big bosses
Also have their own altars, dedicated to Her
I promised Her (some-word-I-can't-understand)
It is not a crime to pray

Hail Most Holy Saint Death
Many do use Her for evil
Good for you, if you can repent, and all
But there is never an excuse for abuse (But it is not necessary for you to be abusive)
The Death Saint, She is very vengeful
She could easily start that up with you (If you don't believe Her, don't you say bad things about Her)

Oh, yeah, and the video had a little tag/caption at the end, not part of the song, which read "con La Santísima Muerte no se juega" = don't you be toying around with the Most Holy Saint Death lightly...something along those lines.

(And, plus, I was just reading back in one of the articles already posted, about how one of Santa Muerte's characteristic wardrobe choices was "beaded necklaces"...I wonder if those include some made with "beads" that are the super-poisonous red "rosary bean" Abrus precatorius ...that'd be okay symbolism, pretty-looking poisonous necklace, for Death to wear...outsiders would look at it, and would not know.)










[edit on 24-9-2009 by nine-eyed-eel]



posted on Sep, 26 2009 @ 07:00 PM
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The following article (which mentions the group from the above video, Los Cadetes de Linares), written by Juan José Arreola with information from Julieta Martínez, was published in El Universal (the Mexican one), on 07/06/2009... Santa Muerte, devoción a contracorriente.


Pedro Escobedo, Querétaro - Teodoro Reyes Díaz lo toma con calma y considera que si en otros lugares del país destruyeron capillas dedicadas a la Santa Muerte, posiblemente fue porque estaban en terrenos federales.

No es el caso del estado de Querétaro, en donde tiene un terreno particular y pretende levantar la catedral de la Niña Blanca, la primera en su tipo en el país, con la advertencia de que quien intente derribarla "primero pasa sobre mi cadáver".

En Pedro Escobedo, 170 kilómetros al noroeste de la ciudad de México, hay una capilla dedicada a la Santa Muerte, tal vez la más importante en su tipo en el país, y Reyes Díaz, su constructor y vigilante, dijo que, al igual que sus seguidores, no tiene miedo de una agresión como sucedió en Tijuana, Baja California.

En ese estado, cinco capillas dedicadas a la Santa Muerte y al llamado santo patrón de los narcotraficantes, Jesús Malverde, fueron arrasadas por desconocidos que utilizaron maquinaria pesada en las carreteras entre Tijuana, Rosarito y Tecate.

Seguidores de la Santa Muerte también denunciaron al Estado mexicano ante la Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CIDH) por la destrucción de 30 altares de ese culto en la ciudad de Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas. A la fecha, nadie se ha atribuido la autoría en ambos casos.

Sin embargo, Reyes Díaz rechaza que la destrucción de capillas en Tijuana sea parte de una "guerra religiosa" por la vinculación de la Niña Blanca con el crimen organizado y el narcotráfico, a la vez que deslinda a los seguidores de la Santa Muerte con la delincuencia.

"Todos le pedimos algo a la Santa Muerte, también los delincuentes, pero nos ayuda hasta equilibrar nuestra situación. Si le pedimos ayuda para delinquir, entonces nos deja hasta que se logra el equilibrio y de ahí en adelante cada quien va solo".

Reyes Díaz, proprietario del terreno donde se levanta la capilla y que actualmente ocupa unos 200 metros cuadrados, también rechaza la posibilidad de ser molestado por autoridades federales, estatales o municipales.

"Tengo todos mis documentos en regla; los pagos de predial, las escrituras del terreno y hasta las facturas del material que se ha comprado", afirma.

Según Reyes Díaz, los seguidores de la Santa Muerte son cada día más, por lo que extendió su capilla y le añadió una tienda o almacén, en el que se venden toda clase de artículos relacionados con la veneración de la Niña Blanca, incluidos amuletos, brebajes y esencias para mejorar la actividad escolar, ser amado y limpiar malos humores.

Lo que más se vende son imágenes de la Santa Muerte de diversos tamaños, precios, material y expresión.

Reyes Díaz manifiesta que su plan es extender la capilla unos 200 metros más y para ello realiza una colecta entre los fieles para reunir dinero suficiente y adquirir un terreno con acceso directo a la autopista México-Querétaro.

Con esta expansión, Reyes Díaz pretende lograr el nombramiento oficial de "catedral" y con ello edificar la que sería el centro más importante del país dedicado a la veneración de la Santa Muerte.

El vigilante de la capilla instalada en la avenida Reforma de la ciudad de Pedro Escobedo, anuncia que trabaja en la preparación de las festividades dedicadas a la muerte, del 1 y 2 de noviembe, con una fiesta que sería amenizada por Los Cadetes de Linares.

Reyes Díaz asegura que cada año le dedican esos dos dias de fiesta a festejar a la Santa Muerte, con un ritual que se inicia con el canto colectivo de Las Mañanitas a la media noche del 1 de noviembre.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


The translation will follow in the next post so as not to fear exceeding the character count. In the meantime, since they do seem to recur, here is Wikipedia on Los Cadetes de Linares .













[edit on 26-9-2009 by nine-eyed-eel]

[edit on 26-9-2009 by nine-eyed-eel]



posted on Sep, 26 2009 @ 09:05 PM
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reply to post by nine-eyed-eel
 


The previous El Universal article, I would then translate in the following words.

Saint Death: A Belief Swimming Against The Tide

Pedro Escobedo, Querétaro - Teodoro Reyes Díaz takes it calmly and considers the possibility that if in other parts of the country chapels dedicated to Saint Death were destroyed, maybe it was because they were located on land that was owned by the federal government.
Such is not the case in Querétaro state, where he has a private piece of land on which he is preparing to erect the Cathedral of The White Little Girl, the first of its kind in the entire nation, with the warning that anyone who intends to tear that one down "first will have to step over my dead body."
In the town of Pedro Escobedo, 170 kilometers northwest of Mexico City, there is a chapel dedicated to Saint Death, maybe the most important one of its kind in the nation, and Reyes Díaz, its builder and overseer, says that neither he nor the other local followers are afraid of an attack like the one that occurred in Tijuana, Baja California.
In that state five chapels, some dedicated to Saint Death as well as some dedicated to the so-called patron saint of dope-traffickers Jesús Malverde, were levelled by persons unknown who used heavy machinery to tear down the chapels where they stood along highways between Tijuana, Rosarito and Tecate.
Saint Death believers accused the Mexican government of responsibility before the Interamerican Human Rights Commission, not only for the above Baja California incidents, but also for the destruction of 30 of the cult's altars in the city of Nuevo Laredo, in Tamaulipas state. To date no one has been determined to be responsible for either incident.
Nevertheless Reyes Díaz rejects the assertion that the chapel-razings in Tijuana might be part of a "religious war" owing to some linkage between The White Little Girl and organized crime and/or dope-trafficking, even as he draws a line distinguishing Saint-Death-worship from criminality. "Everybody requests something from Saint Death; criminals do as well, but Her aid to us works toward returning our situations to balance. If we request Her aid for criminality, then She abandons us until we reach a balance, and so from there on each person goes it alone."
Reyes Díaz, owner of the land where the chapel currently occupies 200 square meters, also rejects the possibility of being bothered by federal, state or municipal authorities.
"I have all my documents in order; the payments, the property taxes, the deed to the land and even the receipts for the supplies that have been purchased," he asserts.
According to Reyes Díaz, there are more Saint Death believers every day, for which reason the chapel has been extended and an addition made in the form of a warehouse or store, in which are sold all types of articles related to the worship of The White Little Girl, including amulets, potions and oils that are purchased in order to improve schoolwork, to make oneself be loved or to clean away evil influences.
The most frequently sold items are the images of Saint Death, which come in diverse sizes and prices, made from different materials and bearing different expressions.
Reyes Díaz shows his plans, which are to extend the current chapel an additional 200 meters more, for which purpose a collection of special offerings by the faithful is being taken, so as to amass sufficient moneys for said construction and to acquire as well another piece of property which has direct access to the México-Querétaro turnpike.
With this expansion, Reyes Díaz is preparing for the chapel to assume the name of "Cathedral" and with that to build what would be the most important center dedicated to Saint Death worship in the nation.
The overseer of the chapel, which is located on Avenida Reforma in the city of Pedro Escobedo, announces that he is working in preparation for the festivities dedicated to Saint Death, to occur this 1st and 2nd of November, with a fiesta which would be brightened by Los Cadetes de Linares. Reyes Díaz states that each year these two days of celebration and festivity in honor of Saint Death are dedicated with a ritual that begins with the collective singing of Las Mañanitas at midnight of the 1st of November.






[edit on 26-9-2009 by nine-eyed-eel]



posted on Oct, 25 2009 @ 04:05 AM
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reply to post by nine-eyed-eel
 


This next linked article, written by Diana Washington Valdez for The El Paso Times of 10/14/2009, does raise a whole bunch of implications closer to the visible surface of the USA media stream-of-consciousness.
Decapitated body among 100 girls, women killed in Juárez in '09

The decapitated body of a woman left in a public place in Juárez marks a disturbing development in the violence-ravaged city across the border from El Paso, two experts said.
"This is the first time a woman has been decapitated and her body displayed in this manner," said Julia Monarrez Fragoso, a Juárez professor at the Colegio de la Frontera, or COLEF, who has spent more than 15 years researching the murders of women in Juárez ...whose new book "Trama de una injusticia" (An unjust plot), about the women's murders, came out earlier this year.
Monarrez said that as of last week, 100 girls and women had been killed in Juárez since the beginning of the year, a record for the border city. Since 1993, more than 600 women's deaths have been reported. The overall slaying toll so far this year is more than 1,900.
News of Sunday's grisly discovery compelled people on the U.S. side of the border to ask the newspaper whether the woman with the name "Claudia" tattooed on her body could be someone they knew.
However, as of late Tuesday, officials for the Chihuahua state attorney general's office said they were still waiting for relatives to show up at the morgue to identify the victim.
Passers-by discovered the woman's body at the intersection of Juan Balderas and Carlos Pacheco. Her head was placed inside a plastic bag next to the torso, which was covered with a blanket. The woman also had a tattoo of the "santa muerte" (holy death) figure on her lower back.
Sergio Gonzalez Rodriguez, a Mexico City editor for "Reforma" newspaper, said there is strong symbolism in the decapitations of recent years. He is the author of a new book, "El hombre sin cabeza" (The man without a head), which deals with the beheadings by warring drug organizations in Mexico. He also wrote the book "Huesos en el desierto" (Bones in the desert) about the Juárez women's murders.
"Decapitations of women are rare," Gonzalez said. Beheadings are associated with the Zetas, enforcers for the Gulf drug cartel, who aligned themselves with the (Carillo Fuentes) drug cartel in Juárez. Officials have found evidence that some Zetas carry out human sacrifices and beheadings in honor of the "santa muerte."

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

[Note - the quotation marks in the original seem screwed up, it's possible that the previous two sentences are also direct quotations from Gonzalez, I compared with a different article where they also cited Gonzalez and decided to do it this way. Now we go back to the same article.]

...
The cult is a mixture of ancient Mexican pagan deities, variations of santería, and a witch doctor's purported vision in Orizaba, Veracruz, Mexico.
Gonzalez said victims of beheadings may be people who belong to a rival organization, or members of a drug-trafficking organization who are suspected of harming the group.
The woman's death in Juárez could also be the work of a copycat killer...

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

Immediately I want to cross-reference about six things with the above article (I'm ordering all three books mentioned), like with some more background info on the Juárez women's murders thing for those who have not been following along with the whole saga, and with the witchdoctor Veracruz origin myth mentioned...but all of a sudden I am falling asleep so it will have to be in some other later post.



[edit on 25-10-2009 by nine-eyed-eel]

[edit on 25-10-2009 by nine-eyed-eel]



posted on Oct, 25 2009 @ 04:11 PM
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Thanks for sharing OP. I started reading this thread in the morning and I'm just amazed about this much info i gathered from Youtube from the related searches of your videos, i found two that are very interesting

There's a documentary made by Guaymás Tv




This one was made for internet, talks about the cult on Saltillo City.



Both are in spanish, but they have a huge amount of images and info.
I think I can contribute with this thread as I am native spanish speaker, i can help you with transcriptions if you want, OP.
... and now i can recall from where i have listened to Santa Muerte first, it was on a CSI: Las Vegas episode



posted on Oct, 27 2009 @ 04:21 PM
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reply to post by Caggy
 

Thank you for your kind words. Anything you want to bring in, translate, transcribe, or just say whatever about it feels important to you...hell yes, come on down.
The videos from Guaymas TV are indeed good, they were in my backlog of things to get to (there is so much stuff, and I am both busy and lazy)...if you wanted to translate, transcribe, synopsize, give highlights, on those two, that would ease and please (if a suggestion was wanted, but basically, I am just chuffed that you also find this area interesting). (Actually, now that I think about it, I'll cue up on my youtube page the playlist ("santa muerte 2", it's the first one, under playlists, on the right there) which contains some of my backlog of Santa Muerte material (some I've just been downloading onto my computer, been remiss about keeping up the playlist, wasn't thinking about collaborative effort till this moment)...and already I see some have gone blank and been removed before I've gotten to them...is what makes me want to at least describe + partially digest them in here in this central ATS space, before their nature disappears into internet-archive-of-everything's immortality-and-oblivion)...
My basic take on this material is right down the middle ...I have an instinctive understanding for death cults, just like how it is always natural for the victim to identify with and ape his oppressor, and by loving and self-identifying with death, some people can take the sting out of the wretched animal squeal we emit as we are crushed by the lead foot of the cosmos...But on the other hand... if it does turn out, for (just one) example, that the worship of Santa Muerte has been the rationale for the murder of six hundred plus innocent sweet longsuffering young Mexican women and girls in Juárez over the past sixteen or so years...and right under the nose of the USA press, next door to the USA, with next to no USA press coverage, that would seemingly be the biggest death-cult body-count pile-up since thuggee murders for Kali/Bhowanee in India 200 years ago...well, number one, I'm not in favor of that, that's extra, that's too much, that surpasses questions of religious tolerance to my taste, that is definitely an actual problem (duh)...and then number two, it really would make you wonder what other conspiratorial worldview subterranean forces are also going on, right this minute, that we have heard nothing about...like that old LL Cool J "things that make you go hmmm"... But anyways, it is an interesting underserved subject, that is just now taking off, more stuff about it every day. I know that if I were to just keep posting new stuff as it occurs, this thread would never run dry...
I notice that you live in Chile...I know that the Argentine similar-but-different, Guarani-vs-Aztec (at least), male death devotional entity San La Muerte has now spread to a couple well-recognized public spots in Chile...I've been looking into that one for a couple years too, I have a big backlog/pile of research items on that one as well (actually I like that one better than Santa Muerte, I don't know why exactly), if you were to visit a shrine to San La Muerte local to you in Chile, that would thrill the hell out of me, if you posted about it...but anyway thanks again for posting and taking an interest....(I think I'm going to check out the Santa Muerte sanctuaries in Tepito and also Los Angeles in March, tentatively, assuming my cash flow don't freeze up in the meantime, yup-yup)...







[edit on 27-10-2009 by nine-eyed-eel]



posted on Oct, 27 2009 @ 08:56 PM
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Yeah, so, returning to cross-referencing some material suggested by the previous El Paso Times article.
This following piece is introduced to provide a little more background info on the killings of many hundred young women and girls in Juárez over the past sixteen years or so, for those who have not been following along with the epic, Byzantine, bad-tasting saga. (I have another article bookmarked on this subject, with more of the back and forth, arrests and refutations, solvings and dis-solvings of the official narrative, but for some reason I can't pull that article up right now...when and if I can lay my hand on it I will post that as well). The piece linked to here is from The New York Times of 08/19/2009, written by Mireya Navarro.
Who Is Killing the Young Women of Juárez? A Filmmaker Seeks Answers

Over the last decade more than 300 women have disappeared from the streets of Ciudad Juárez in Mexico, many later found raped and murdered, their bodies dumped in ditches and the desert. But even more stunning than the number of deaths has been the failure of law enforcement officials to put a stop to the killings.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


(You are of course remembering that this piece dates from 2002, and while the years and the body count have increased, this ongoing murder outbreak has still not been resolved. We return to the piece now.)


A trail of newspaper articles about the murders led Lourdes Portillo, a San Francisco filmmaker who was born in Chihuahua ... to this unsolved mystery ...
The cases date back to 1993, when high school and college students, store clerks and housewives, as well as the poor single women drawn to Juárez from all over Mexico to work in ... assembly plants, began vanishing from the streets, often in daylight, on their way home from work or to visit friends or to job interviews.
At first officials faulted the women themselves, saying that the victims moved in "high-risk" circles of gang members and prostitution. But as shown in the documentary ["Señorita Extraviada"/"Missing Young Woman"], which includes pictures of scores of the women and visits with some of their families, the only obvious pattern is that most of the victims were poor, dark-skinned and slim with shoulder-length hair.
Ms. Portillo's interviews with relatives of the victims, Mexican law-enforcement officials and women who survived their attacks indicate that there are many theories about who can be behind so many deaths: serial killers, drug traffickers, opportunists emboldened to commit copycat murders. One women, María Talamantez, even points at police officers, saying that when she went to report the beating of her husband by neighbors, a group of officers at the station raped her and showed her graphic pictures of some of the murdered women as they were killed ...
Few of the killings have been solved ...
And each time, as officials have declared the problem solved, the murders have continued ...
In the course of 18 months of filming in 1999 and 2000, Ms. Portillo said, 50 more women were killed. The film notes that many bodies have shown evidence of torture and mutilation, fueling bizarre rumors and speculation about ritual sacrifices. Ms. Portillo said she herself felt "very unsafe" and that the sister of a woman she had interviewed, for example, disappeared not long after the interview. "I had the paranoid feeling that the deaths were coming close to me," she said.
Ms. Portillo said she came away convinced that the killers come from the drug trade and remained at large because "they have the power to buy everybody off" ...

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


Here is the actual video of "Señorita Extraviada". I have to go to work in a little while but hopefully while at work or anyway in the next day or so I will post an elapsed-time-chronological highlight-list of any seemingly Santa-Muerte-relevant-or-suggestive bits.

Google Video Link




[edit on 27-10-2009 by nine-eyed-eel]

[edit on 27-10-2009 by nine-eyed-eel]



posted on Nov, 20 2009 @ 04:07 AM
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But first, here's a little cross-referencing on the guy we saw being interviewed already, in the video about the Giant Santa Muerte Statue, in the 19th post of the 1st page of this thread (if I can scroll-down and count simultaneously)...the hipster-looking goateed dude, in the early part of that video, who was talking about how the other devotee had donated the site-land due to recovery from illness...At that time I did not recognize that that man was in fact the notable personage known as Comandante Pantera = Commander Panther, though I could also go for Major Panther, or Boss Panther (I've already told y'all, I'm a shifty translator..."Boss Panther", sounds cool enough to me, I'd want to be an extra in that movie (reminds me of that old Cramps song " I'm the king of the jungle/ They call me 'Tiger-man'") but I digress again), as well as being called Padrino Endoque = Godfather Endoque, or again I could allow Boss Endoque, Patron/Sponsor/Advanced-One Endoque, somewhere in that conceptual clump.
So here's four videos documenting his death, or better, two on his death, two covering his funerary observances. (I also have a couple of good newspaper articles covering his death, somewhere in the stack-of-stuff, which I will post next time I run across them...but, one thing at a time.)The title of this one I would render as " Even Saint Death could not help Commander Panther ", something like that in tone.

The superimposed text I translate like this:
He was known as Commander Panther/ El Comandante Pantera.
He was also called Godfather Endoque/ Padrino Endoque.
He was the spiritual leader of the Temple of Saint Death, in Tultitlán, in México State.
He is the one who was shot-full-of-holes/perforated-by-gunfire in López Portillo Street/Vía López Portillo, in Ecatepec, this last Thursday.
While driving a tan/sandy-colored Escalade SUV, while accompanied by two women.
Comandante Pantera was the guy in-charge-of/responsible-for putting on the masses of the Saint Holy Death...

This next video shows the death car. The announcer does seem highly concerned to emphasize that 150 shots were fired, less so to mention the wounding of Comandante Pantera's accompanying female passenger. Check out the Santa Muerte stickers on the doors at 0:17 and 0:20. And without confirming evidence (this is day-after-the-incident coverage), the announcer does not hesitate to note that the 150-shot overkill is reminiscent of " los sicarios de los narcotráficos " = the assassins working for the dope-traffickers.


These next two are fan/real-person videos, shot in the trailing tail of Comandante Pantera's funeral procession. At least one assumes so, sure looks like it to me, probably from the church to the graveyard is my guess till I find out better.


In these last videos, the black jackets and T-shirts with SANTA MUERTE written on them in biker-gang-colors style may relate to a Mexico City Harley-riders group I've seen referenced in passing in some newspaper articles...this is just speculation as I haven't yet seen any photo of the Santa Muerte MC members in their regalia, so I couldn't actually identify those items as such, it's at this point just a thought...the tone of the newspaper articles on the Santa Muerte MC that I saw made them sound really pretty harmless, seemed like, from what little there was.


[edit on 20-11-2009 by nine-eyed-eel]

[edit on 20-11-2009 by nine-eyed-eel]





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