Small Wars Journal

Santa Muerte: Inspired and Ritualistic Killings (Part 1 of 3)

Santa Muerte: Inspired and Ritualistic Killings (Part 1 of 3).

FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin

5 February 2013

By Dr. Robert Bunker

Bloodbaptized—in a shroud of human skin;

Raise your wings—as we celebrate the dead;

Sacrifice—in the honour of your wealth;

Reward us now—in triumph we behead.

The narcotics wars in Mexico have increased in scope and intensity beginning with President Felipe Caldéron’s December 2006 de facto declaration of war against the cartels and gangs. The deployment of Mexican military forces in counterorganized crime and stability and support roles directly responded to the loss of the country’s control within many regions—identified as areas of impunity—of the country. Since this conflict began, over 45,000 people have died in the fighting, and the areas of impunity have grown to include wide swaths of territory constituting hundreds of locales now under control of the cartels. The criminal insurgencies waged by the cartels and gangs, centered on a strategy of securing nongovernmental interference with their illicit narcotics and other criminal economic activities, have received much attention and debate. Far less has focused on some of the darker spiritualistic parts of the drug wars.

Categories: El Centro