Jesus Malverde, along with other saints of cultural significance, has found his way to supermarkets in the US. In other words, he's become a household item. ICE agents use Malverde and La Santa Muerte as clues to get to the heart of drug traffick, yet venerating saints is not a crime. Why is it then that Maximon and Holy Death, Malverde or Santoniño have been tagged as signs of criminal activity?
The devotion surrounding the images or sculptures of Malverde has increased over the years. You may buy the statuettes or an array of medallions, key chains, stamps and novenas, in E-Bay.
The statuettes vary in sizes and materials and, of course, in prices. Expect to pay anywhere from 50 to 200 hundred dollars, as they come in clay, plaster, wood and even silver and gold.
Jesus Malverde was executed in Sinaloa, in 1909, according to the legend. Some consider him the drug traffic saint and the patron of organized crime... others perceive him as the miracle advocate, from Sinaloa, and will list a number of cases that attest to his powers healing the ill, and being responsible for a dream come true or a miracle. If you ask people why or how did Malverde earned such veneration, few will have an answer.
Controversial Malverde has been praised in corridos and honored in altars and family chapels. There are academic studies of Malverde and even a radio novella produced in 2012, by the University of Sinaloa, with a script of Leonidas Alfaro and Pedro Velazquez.
To read the text published click here: Jesús Malverde: ¿Santo de los migrantes o icono de la narcocultura?
I started working the Western End of Riverside County in 2013. A fascinating local history can only be paired with a burgeoning urban center showing the fastest growth in the entire US since 2012.