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Jesus Malverde

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A small home altar with offerings to Jesus Malverde
A small home altar with offerings to Jesus Malverde

Jesus Malverde is a Mexican folk spirit who protects those who live outside the law. He is the spirit of an outlaw and bandit who died around 1910 and was buried by the railroad tracks in Culiacan, Sinaloa. His bones were later re-interred in a shrine, where his help is sought by drug-runners, those who traffic in illegal immigration, and others whose work is not sanctioned by the law. He is widely admired for his intercession in Court Cases, Legal Matters, and Keeping Off the Law

After his death he was elevated to a folk hero as a sort of Robin Hood--a bandit who helped the poor. In this role he has become a patron saint of the poor as well as those who live outside the law. Many miracles are attributed to Jesus Malverde.

In the picture shown here, offerings on a home altar to Jesus Malverde include brown candles dressed with Law Keep Away oil and Court Case oil, a mini-bottle of Crown Royal whiskey, a glass jar filled with herbs, and an assortment of coins and dollar bills. Another of his favourite offerings is the playing of corridos, the fast-running dance tunes of rural Mexico. In particular, he enjoys narco-corridos, which are songs in this genre in which the lyrics are about drug-running.

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