National Geographic : 2010 May
• politician came here asking me to help him pray for victory in the elections. Just imagine!" he exclaims, amused, shrugging o the suggestion that St. Jude might be a narco-saint. " ey say that when the statue of San Juditas shows him carrying his sta in his le hand, it means he's working for the drug tra ckers, and nonsense like that." Father Jesús prefers to focus on the many new worshippers of true piety. ON THE FACE OF IT, Mexican tra ckers are the only ones who have no reason to feel desperate in the crisis currently obsessing their compatriots. Mex- ican tra ckers, who are ideally placed to ship nearly all the cocaine consumed north of the bor- der, also grow and smuggle much of the marijuana and an increasing percentage of the chemical stimulants U.S. consumers favor. ey use vio- lence as a particularly e ective means of commu- nication, dis guring their victims horribly and displaying their corpses for all to see, so that everyone will know how powerful the drug lords are and fear them. Once a small group of country folk knit together by family relationships, the original traders hailed mostly from the small northern Mexican state of Sinaloa. Sandwiched between the Gulf of California and the Sierra Madre candies in swi transactions. Bucio thinks he knows what they're up to. "Unfortunately a lot of these kids have taken to coming here," he says. " ey sully the name of Our Lord and St. Jude's too---who have noth- ing to do with this narcotrá co thing. If every- one who came here came with sincere devotion, you wouldn't see this type of crowd." Father Jesús García, a small, cheerful member of the Claretian Order who o ciates at many of these Masses in honor of St. Jude, is aware that certain people who look as if they hope to earn a great deal of money fast come to this church to pray to the saint. But he is at pains to point out that the new devotion to St. Jude cuts across all social classes and occupations. " e other day a Say you live in a border city taken over by the drug trade, and gunfire bursts out every night. Is it not under- standable to pray to the narco-saint Jesús Malverde?