Jesus Malverde the Narcos Saint

In the north-west of Mexico, between the Sierra Madre mountains and the Pacific Ocean, there is the state of Sinaloa is known as the “cradle of drug trafficking.” Its state capital, Culiacan, the capital of the drug across the country. An average of 2-3 drug-related deaths are reported each day, and the drug violence between police and rival drug gangs is common in the city. However, just around the corner from the governor’s office, on the opposite side of the railroad tracks, a sanctuary exists as an ‘amalgam of narco-culture and his Catholicism. There he pays tribute to Jesús Malverde, also called Narcos Saint.
A steady stream of people can usually be found there, placing candles near busts, leaving framed photographs of loved ones who want healing or protection.


You can pray for thanksgiving for abundant crops of marijuana and opium, or for an early treatment for the disease to someone. The stories about his life are varied, and it is impossible to clarify which aspects are real and which are the result of imagination. In keeping with local beliefs, Jesús Malverde was a bandit who operated on the heights of Culiacán. Assaulted and robbed the factors and landowners in the region, such as Martínez de Castro, the Redo, the De la Rocha or Fernández: and then distributed the booty among the poor. It is said that his father had died of starvation, abuse victim landowners, and that this was the reason that prompted him to become a bandit. Tradition has it that before take to the bush, Malverde has been a bricklayer or who has worked at the laying of railway tracks.It is supposed to have worked on the installation of the western line of Mexico and the southern-Pacific line that came from the north in the year 1905 in Culiacan His repeated attacks on the oligarchs meant that the Governor of the State, General Francisco Canedo, offered a reward for his capture. Wanted by the authorities, Malverde would die on 1909.

There are different versions about his death, according to some was captured and executed by the police; according to others, one of his companions betrayed him to collect the reward money offered by the government, for others it was hanged. The most popular version According to a legend, Jesús Malverde was the “Mexican Robin Hood.” He was shot during a confrontation with the guardians of the law, by a bullet, which earned him a gangrene. Malverde, knowing they can not survive and that the reward for his capture increased, endured the pain until he asked one of his companions to deliver it to collect the reward which then would be distributed to the poor. He himself has not trafficked in drugs, but after his death his reputation of working miracles has taken hold among residents of the highlands of Sinaloa. Malverde has become the patron saint for many drug traffickers, even if the local diocese believes that the chapel dedicated to Malverde is a shame. The priests complain about the glorification of a man who robbed and killed; even if the citizens of Sinaloa are more ‘difficult to have confidence in a political system that imposes a war on drugs responsible for many deaths of their own people.


Historians can not seem to find documentation of its existence, but also of miracles such as healing the blind and the lame, the return of cattle lost, and the rescue of a drowning man have been attributed to him. One theory is that the governor arrested him invented the legend of Malverde to control abuses by its landowners more brutal. Presumably, in the 70s, the leader Julio Escalande gave the order to kill his son Raymundo to do business without him interpose. So, shot and thrown into the sea, Raymundo asked for help to Malverde and was rescued by a fisherman. Since that time, the famous drug traffickers such as Rafael Caro Quintero, Ernesto Fonseca y Amado Carrillo Fuentes began to attend the chapel of Malverde Gilberto López Alanís, however, believes that the binding of Malverde with drug trafficking represents a deformation of worship. Even Manuel Jesús González, head of the chapel of Jesús Malverde in Sinaloa, rejects this connection with the Narcos.

For many, the existence of Malverde is real. According to tradition, his name was Jesús Juárez Mazo, born December 24, 1870, and that “Malverde” was a nickname derived from “El Mal Verde”, since directed his assault by a green grove on a mountain. At the end of 2004, Gilberto López Alanís, director of the Historical Archive of Sinaloa, found in the archives of the Civil Registry of Culiacán a birth in 1888 of a child named Jesús Malverde, the son of Guadalupe Malverde.

Some people argue that Culiacán Jesús Malverde has proved to watch the demolition of the pile of rocks that supposedly marked the place where he was buried. It is also said that the pebbles have started to jump like popcorn and that the bulldozer operator had to get drunk to have the courage to roll on it. And finally, the machine broke down when he touched the grave.


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