Dark Tourist premiere episode recap – Latin America

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Santa Muerte / Photo by Itzeloka / Deviant Art

Santua Muerte – More than Meets the Eye

Next, on Dark Tourist, David’s off to Mexico City, in time for the world famous Day of the Dead celebration.

However, he’s not there for the usual celebration. He specifically wished to see the Santa Muerte — a so-called “cult,” said to worship a saint of death.

Banned by “mainstream” churches, Santa Muerte is said to be rather extreme. This is odd, too, because it’s coming from church-affiliated officials who believe in exorcism (in fact, David witnesses one firsthand, and we can watch it at home, too).

Still, it seems there’s much hearsay about Santa Muerte. Are these worshippers just a satanic band of rapists, murderers and human sacrificers? As it turns out, they most certainly are not.

In the Tepito neighborhood of outcasts, Santa Muerte is their mascot. Like many fascinating things, this localized Santa Muerte movement had surprisingly benign origins. A woman named Dona Queta inspired the phenomenon by publicly displaying an effigy, and people saw it as inspiring somehow.

What resulted was a strange but celebratory phenomenon. Because Santa Muerte worshippers often “lead hard lives,” they offer her marijuana, booze and other hard drugs.

Dona Queta says Santa Muerte is good and not evil. She says “The most beautiful way to live in this world is to live without fear.” She also relates her own struggles to us.

In a profound moment, she says she loves her cancer because it taught her how to live life. In short, Dona Queta seems like a positive person whose beliefs aren’t about worshipping death, but containing it and not fearing it.

Santa Muerte is shown as a community that sprung up around her shrine, and everyone shares a death cake, which Farrier says is tasty.