Photo: Santa Muerte Cult Members Charged with Murders of Boys, Woman
Eight people have been formally charged for the horrific murders of two young boys and a woman.
Mexican prosecutors say the suspects claimed they killed two 10-year-old boys and a 55-year-old as offerings to Santa Muerte (Saint Death or Holy Death).
The 8 suspects are said to be members of an extended family and now face charges of conspiracy, corrupting minors, first-degree homicide, illegal burial, and robbery. Some face sentences of up 50 years in prison.
One of suspects is a 15-year-old who will be held in a separate youth facility until she turns 18.
The victims were killed between 2009 and 2012.
Santa Muerte is a sacred figure often followed by criminals and drug traffickers. Figures depicted the saint generally appear as skeletal figures clad in long robes and carrying one or more objects, usually a scythe and a globe.
The cult of Santa Muerte has been condemned by the Catholic Church of Mexico though is still relatively popular in lower classes and those in the crime world.
It has been estimated that about two million people across Mexico and the U.S. are now a part of the Santa Muerte cult.