As the increasing interest in Satanic rituals spreads across the globe, Mexico is one of the locations hardest hit by the influences of Satanic cults and beliefs. Religious leaders in the predominantly Roman Catholic country are alarmed at the rise in exorcisms being performed due to the evil energy sweeping the country, as well as the growing trends surrounding the violent drug war that incorporate Satanic cult rituals.
Ritual killings associated with Satanic cults are becoming an increasing problem in certain regions across the world. News outlets have recently zeroed in on the growing issue in South Africa, but other locations are also being affected. In Mexico, religious leaders are reporting a rise in the need for spiritual cleansing (exorcisms) as a result to the widespread popularity of a folk cult related to Santa Muerte (also known as Saint Death) – a female saint that resembles the Grim Reaper.
The hooded skeletal effigy that decorates the shelves of countless stores and shrines in Mexico is known as La Dama Poderosa, which translates into ‘The Powerful Lady.’ Those who pray to the saint, often ask for love, prosperity, healing, as well as revenge against enemies. There is an estimated 10 million followers associated with Santa Muerte, who also plays a significant influence on those who participate in drug-related crimes.
Reports state that at least 70,000 people have lost their lives to drug-related violence since 2006 with Mexican authorities noting an alarming trend regarding the killings. The nature in which many are being murdered seems to take on the appearance of human sacrifice. In various sections of Mexico, it is not uncommon to see dismembered corpses stretched out across the roads. The remains of brutally tortured bodies have been found hanging from bridges, and piled into mass graves. Many of the deaths are meant to send a message to rival drug dealers and gangs, and some believe that it is the work of ‘The Demon.’
A priest and exorcist dwelling in the capital Mexico City told the BBC that “behind all these big and structural evils, there is a dark agent and his name is The Demon. That is why the Lord wants to have here a ministry of exorcism and liberation, for the fight against the devil.”
There is a possibility that those involved in drug trafficking are offering human sacrifices to Santa Muerte in hopes of avoiding jail time, escaping the watchful eye of the police, and/or making more money. Some say that since Santa Muerte is not a Christian saint, it is more acceptable amongst drug traffickers to ask for assistance pertaining to criminal activities.
While Santa Muerte figurines date back to the 1940s in Mexico, it is reported that the cult has only been recognized within the last 10 years. About five years ago, President Felipe Calderon declared the saint a number one enemy of the country’s religion. The president of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Culture has also called Santa Muerte figurines a “blasphemy against religion.”