Thursday, September 8, 2011

Santa Muerte: A Mexican death cult is fuelling America's anti-immigration backlash -- "This is about crime, not race"

In September 2008, 11 decapitated bodies were discovered in Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula. When police arrested the killers, they found an altar in their home dedicated to Santa Muerte – the patron saint of death for Mexican drug cartels. One year later, an illegal immigrant called Jorge Flores Rojas was arrested in North Carolina for running a sex ring. He, too, had built a shrine in his east Charlotte apartment to Santa Muerte. Flores forced his girls to have sex with as many as 20 men a day while he knelt in his living room praying to the skeletal figure of death. In August 2011, the Mexican army stumbled upon a tunnel that ran right under the US border for 300 metres. It was six feet high and equipped with lights and ventilation. It also housed – you guessed it – an altar to Santa Muerte.

Europeans complain mightily that Muslim immigration has introduced fundamentalism to their secular continent. Yet they tend to look upon Middle America’s fear of illegal Hispanic immigration with contempt, as if its paranoia was motivated entirely by racism. Reporting on new legislation designed to drive illegal immigrants out of the Deep South, The Guardian’s Paul Harris writes that it heralds, “The prospect of a new Jim Crow era – the time when segregation was law – across a vast swath of the old Confederacy. [The legislation] will ostracise and terrorise a vulnerable Hispanic minority with few legal rights.” more