Santa Muerte must have been sleeping at the scythe because anti-drug police and their dogs managed to find the 83 kilos of cocaine that the saint of smugglers was suppose to be protecting.
The discovery is an embarrassment for operators of a well-known public bus line because the cocaine was found in the floor of the bus.
The bus had 39 passengers and was headed to El Salvador from San José. Anti-drug agents did not make any arrests in the case. Hiding the drug required significant access to the bus and a lot of work.
Many of the kilo blocks of cocaine contained a photo of a blue Santa Muerte. This is the figure of a cult that developed among the drug cartels in México, and now is widespread.
Like Roman Catholic saints, Santa Muerte, sometimes calledSantísima Muerte or Niña Blanca, is supposed to grant favors to the faithful. Statues of the saint can be found in the various local commercial centers. They are not toys.
Santa Muerte is a representation of death, although the saint is much more. In her hands she holds a scythe and a globe. The scythe can be the instrument of death, and it has a long reach. But it also can be the instrument of the harvest, meaning prosperity. The globe shows the saint’s dominance over the world.
The saint developed long before the drug trade, but smugglers and cartel lords have adopted her for protection. Most probably they figure they will not reach old age, so the saint of the good death could be helpful. Various colors are associated with the saint. She can be found in white, black and red gowns. The blue color found with the bricks of cocaine do not seem to be traditional.