Mexico’s former top cop — currently on trial in Brooklyn federal court for allegedly helping some of the world’s most brutal drug kingpins — is allegedly a devotee of a Mexican death cult and used to worship at a secret altar in his government office, according to reports.
Genaro García Luna, 54, is accused of taking millions in bribes to protect some of the biggest cartels in Mexico. Among the charges against him is helping Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman’s Sinaloa Cartel evade authorities and smuggle cocaine and other illicit drugs into the US when García Luna was head of Mexico’s federal police.
García Luna led Mexico’s Federal Investigative Agency from 2001 to 2005, and was named the secretary of public security in 2006.
During those years, he allegedly kept an altar to Santa Muerte — a folk saint that is a cross between the Grim Reaper and the Virgin of Guadeloupe — in his office at federal police headquarters in Mexico City, according to reports.
“He had an altar in his office even after dozens were destroyed as part of [Felipe] Calderone’s fight against the narcos,” writes Argentine reporter Olga Wornat in her 2020 book “Felipe, the Dark One,” which chronicles corruption in the administration of former Mexican President Felipe Calderón — García Luna’s former boss — who ruled Mexico between 2006 and 2012.
“The altar of the Angel of Santa Muerte, located in the offices of the SSP [Secretariat of Public Security] showed the splendor of the power of García Luna,” writes Mexican reporter Francisco Cruz in his 2020 book, “García Luna: The Lord of Death.”
The altars were prohibited for García Luna’s subordinates because the Santa Muerte cult is associated with drug traffickers who often pray to the saint and leave offerings of cash and tequila shots in order to ensure success with their drug operations.