Drug Lord Saints go high-tech
They’re seen as the protectors of drug traffickers: so-called saints not recognized by the Catholic Church but followed by many.
And now, statues of the Santisima Muerte and Jesus Malverde are becoming even more popular in Laredo and even online.
Its the latest way some groups distribute information to a younger audience ... and now ... even followers of saints said to protect drug lords.. are hoping to spread their message.
“We’re carrying a few statues made of clay ... plaster and bone.”
Saint to some, satanic to others, the Santisima Muerte can be found across Mexico ... even here in Laredo.
“I always try to have what the people are looking for. I don’t know too much about it but there’s a lot of people that have a bug interest and a big following,” says owner of Basket and Pottery Alley Raymond Camina.
Recently, he say’s, its been more difficult to keep stores shelves full because of a surge of people wanting to buy what some refer to as the saint of the drug lords.
And another figure , Jesus Malverde, a robin hood-like criminal known as the narco saint ... also seems to be growing in populatrity.
“Some of the vehicles that we seize we see the statues some of the search warrants that we serve some of the houses we search we see the statues,” says Chief Federico Garza of the Webb
Showing adoration for Jesus Malverde is getting even easier. The so-called saint now has a face book page. Almost one thousand people so far have joined as fans.
“The belief is there.”
Many of the Malverde cyber-worshippers are young people.
Still authorities don’t think the page will gain much attention.
“Our kids are smarter than that.”
Based on sales, storeowners don't exactly agree.
“It doesn’t surprise me because a lot of people look up to it and I know that catholic church doesn’t recognize it but if they want to believe in something its out there.”
Though many claim Santisima Muerte and Jesus Malverde will protect their drugs from authorities, sheriff's deputies say the myth doesn't seem to help.
In 2009, approximately 35-thousand pounds of drugs were seized in Webb County ... and at least 700 people were arrested in connection with drug trafficking.