Blog dedicated to reporting on Mexican drug cartels
on the border line between the US and Mexico

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Jesus Malverde, the man, the myth, the legend Part 2

Written for Borderland Beat by Otis B Fly-Wheel

Subject Matter: Jesus Malverde, Jesus Juarez Mazo, the Narco-Saint
Recommendation: See Link to Part 1 of this article

Many different cultures at different times past and present have a Robin Hood figure, such as Oleska Dovbush of Ukraine, Juraj Janosik of Slovakia, Nakamura Jirokichi of Japan, Scotty Smith from South Africa, Salvatore Guiliano of Italy and Phoolan Devi from India. As I hail from the UK, every child here knows the story of Robin Hood and he has been immortalized in many different Hollywood films featuring some of Hollywoods top stars. All have similar traits in that they rob from the rich and distribute their loot to the poor. But in nearly every old legend of this type, there is little evidence that they ever existed. Jesus Malverde is venerated particularly in Sinaloa and particularly by Narcos. Here we examine his story.

Big thanks go out to Chivis and BB's friend Narcomics, for the images. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram @narcomicscorp

Reporter: Otis B Fly-Wheel

Continued from Part 1

Jesus left money with the establishment owner with instructions that the boy should receive clothes, shoes, and food every day until the money ran out. The man promised to do just that. Word spread in a matter of hours that there was a mysterious benefactor called Jesus, who helped the poor from his own pocket because of the goodness in his heart. As the group of Chinese and Jesus left their lodgings, many indigenous people spotted him and asked him to help, the Chinese simply smiled.

As he left Guaymas to return to the Chinese village in the mountains, he came across more people who were asking him for a donation. He found he could not turn them down and donated a little to each petitioner. He found the same in Los Mochis, people recognized him on his Golden Mare, and petitioned him for a little money.

When he arrived at the outskirts of Culiacan, he had given out just about every peso he had earned from the Chinese, and had nothing left bar enough to buy a little food for his journey to mountains. As he was leaving the outskirts of Culiacan, one last woman approached him, it broke his heart as he had nothing to give her, she was carrying her dead baby who had died that morning, the baby was nothing but skin and bones, as the woman recounted her story to him, it saddened him to the very core of his being. 

Her husband had been accused by the Governor of stealing and had been imprisoned, without trial or any corroborating witness to his crime. He had died in prison. Jesus left her with nothing, and carried on his journey, he came along a track and neared a road from where he could look down on Culiacan, he could see the train tracks, the roads and the mountains in the distance.

He suddenly heard a rifle shot, the bullet missed him by mere inches, his horse bolted and he drew his pistol as he looked towards where the sound had come from, he saw a man taking aim at him again and fired at him, the bullet went through his shoulder, he went down and Jesus rode over to him and jumped off his horse and levelled his pistol at the mans face.

Jesus had had enough at this point and a steely resolve that was always there came to the surface, why did this well off man just try and shoot him for no reason. Because he was paranoid. The outrages that the local Government had done, enriching themselves while subjugating the poor and ignoring any decent form of justice, was just too much for him to take, he resolved himself that someone must stand up for the poor and needy and since no one else would do it. Jesus was just the man for the job. He would stand up for the poor and make things right, by words or by force if necessary since this was the only thing those in power understood.

"Why did you try to kill me?" said Jesus

"Who else but a bandit would be vigilant on this road", said the man bleeding profusely from his shoulder wound.

"Is that what you think I am, a Bandit?", asked Malverde

"Don't shoot me, you don't know who I am," said the man.

"I don't know who you are, and I don't care, and the truth is you are bleeding a lot, so give me what you have," said Malverde.

He searched the mans bags and found some silver and gold coins, and a well manufactured clock. Jesus removed the mans jacket and looked at the bullet wound. It was clean and the bullet had gone through without hitting any bones.

He got hold of the man and brought him to his feet, he then grabbed the bridle of the mans horse, the man immediately protested, 

"Please do not take my horse"

"Senor I am only swapping your horse for mine, my horse is in better condition, is swifter and will get you to a doctor much faster.

The man declined and kept his own horse, before leaving, he asked Jesus what his name was, saying that he would be asked who robbed him. Jesus thought for a moment and said

"You can tell them it was Jesus Malverde that robbed you".

Jesus sought out poor people to give out the money he had taken, and when they were asked where they got it, they would say, I have a friend, Jesus Malverde, on a golden mare, he is a generous bandit.

From now on travellers around the outskirts of Culiacan travelled with escorts or Federal Army bodyguards.

Jesus decided it was time to find out if his brothers were alive. The Mission Muchachas was next to the Hacienda for the mine where he had worked many years ago, and he thought that they may well be there if they were still alive and had not died due to lung disease.

He walked into the mission and asked for the brothers Juarez, a nurse pointed the beds where they were and he walked over to them. As he got within a few feet, it dawned on them who this stranger was. All this time they had thought him dead and gone, their eyes widened dramatically and their mouths dropped open. There were a little paler than he remembered, here he was standing before the, well dressed, fed, a man when they remembered the boy that had been whipped. They both wept openly with joy at seeing their brother again.

Jesus recounted his life since he had been whipped and left for dead. They listened to every golden word no daring to interrupt, then when he had finished and they had their questions answered, they recounted their story of their life in the mine over the last few years.

They finished their meeting and the brothers left with Jesus and two of his old friends, they travelled out into the mountains and made their plans. They needed more people for their band of robbers and they talked about where they might recruit the people they needed. Culiacan prison was the answer. Lots of people in there that were aggrieved about the local Governors, who were poor, who had families in distress and who had received only summary justice from an uncaring judiciary.

Their made their plans to break into the prison at night, when the guards would be at their least attentive, and to start a fire in a different part of the prison as a diversion. Their plan went pretty much as per they thought, and they broke out about a dozen people. One or two of the men were too old to be of much use though they volunteered their services to Jesus. Jesus thanked them but declined.

One of the men came forward and asked to kiss Jesus's hand, he was the husband of the woman that had approached Jesus on the outskirts of Culiacan, when Jesus had no money to give her. She had visited him in prison and told him about Jesus. Jesus asked the man to get up, and said his thanks and service would be enough.

Jesus spoke to his new men, about the injustice and his plan to rob the riches of the States few elite to redistribute the money to the poor, and that there would be nothing in it for themselves apart from hardship, but that they were the only men who were willing to stand up for the people. All agreed to commit themselves to the cause, because it was just, and because it was right.

Their first port of call was the home of one of the General Canado's friends, they arrived, broke in and over ran the security, the idea being to get weapons to use, since they had only one Winchester rifle that Jesus had and the two pistols he had taken from the Governors soldier who had tried to raid the Chinese opium farm in the mountains.

Jesus asked one of his brothers to go back to their property and get the carbine that Jesus used to hunt with. They got several weapons some food and money, they told the household staff to go straight to the Governors house and tell them that it was Malverde that had raided his friends house, and that he was declaring war without quarter on the corrupt, subjugating Government of Sinaloa.

The house that they had raided owner was with the Governor at the hacienda at the mine, and upon his staff entering to tell him what had happened, he was furious, shouting and spitting curses and threats. The Governor smiled and would not order anything other than a small increase in the amount of guards for the rich entering Culiacan by road. To him Malverde was nothing special and had only robbed one person.

Malverde began patrolling the small roads off the main road leading into Culiacan. After four weeks of finding nobody rich to rob, he began the riskier task of operating on the main roads leading into Culiacan. on the first day of this new plan, he came across a coach with a single operator guard and curtains across the windows. He could hear conversation coming from inside, with men and ladies joining in. 

Malverdes men motioned the driver to stop, which he did, on hearing Malverdes men, the voices from inside the carriage went silent. Jesus came up alongside the coach and pushed the muzzle of his rifle through the curtain in the window, and bid the occupants to leave the carriage.

Three well to do ladies and three gentlemen left the carriage, Jesus men climbed onto the carriage and began to search the belongings while one kept a gun levelled at the coach driver. One of the carriage occupants, an ex army man begged Jesus to spare his life, his life was never at risk from Jesus as long as he didn't try anything stupid and Jesus advised him as much.

His men pulled down their travel case from on top of the coach, and finding a lock on it, blasted it off with Jesus grandfathers carbine. Inside they found fine clothes, and some gold. They took the golden coins, and some of the clothes, which could be sold to provide funds for the poor.

One of the men complained that now they didn't have funds to get a room for the night while they sourced more money for their business trip. Jesus returned some of their money, and told them why he had taken the money.

He also asked them to tell the Governors men that it was him who had robbed them. Jesus realized that he could not help the amount of people he wanted to. After robbing a few more coaches and collecting some money, he bought 12 thoroughbred horses from England and had them delivered to Mexico. These were Arabian stock and were swift, strong, and had enormous stamina. Ideal for what he wanted to do next.

The railroad into Culiacan was in his cross hairs, he reasoned that it would carry enough money to help a lot of people and so set his plans into motion to rob the train on the way into Culiacan. On the day they chose to do it, they chose a relatively flat piece of ground. Nobody was expecting the train to be robbed so it really had no armed guards, or armed passengers on board.

The first anyone knew of what was happening was when a passenger looked out the window and saw Jesus riding alongside the train, on a magnificent looking horse and gaining ground on the train, which was going fast along the flat section of track, all the other passengers ran over the windows on that side of the train and looked out the window to see a group of men behind Jesus all galloping as fast as their horses would go.

Jesus was making for the engineers car at the front of the train, he needed to slow the train down to get his men on board to carry out the robbery. They caught up with the front of the train and managed to get on board and get the engineer to slow the train down, his men got on board, broke into the secure carriage and made off with all the money and valuables the train was carrying. Some of his less disciplined men robbed some of the rich passengers, who offered no resistance.

After the train was robbed it made national headlines and the Governor of Sinaloa came under pressure to do something about Jesus Malverde, the Governor was an intelligent man and knew that the Porifio would be thinking that he could not handle security in his own State. So he ordered armed guards onto every train entering and leaving Culiacan.

It was about this time that Jesus got to thinking, he was getting money and gold but it was difficult to distribute to help the amount of people he wanted. If they had money to buy food, given they were starving, the authorities would know they had gotten the money from Jesus and his men, and would either steal the money or take the food.

There was a way out of this, and Jesus set his plan in place. He would now steal seed that the villagers could either make food, or plant crops. He would deliver it to each village and they villagers could divide it up, and the authorities would be none the wiser. The plan worked and took some heat off the Governor as Jesus began to rob grain stores and seed storage belonging to the Government.

This began to make a real difference. Hunger was the biggest problem over the whole of Sinaloa, and everyone thanked god for Jesus Malverde, he saved countless thousands of lives that year by carrying out his plan. The rich who he previously had been robbing stopped complaining to the Government, and all the Governor had to cover up was the theft of some seed.

Jesus could now travel state wide and everywhere he went people would shelter and harbour his men and be glad to do it even if they thought there may be repercussions later if it was found out. Now he had become probably the most famous man in the country. The one shining example of somebody with power in the state that actually had the best of intentions for the majority of people.

This went on for three years, with the movements of his band impossible to predict. He just had to be at the place he would rob next, but the Governors men had to be at every place all the time if he were to catch him.

Jesus decided it was time to take it to the Governor himself, the Governor had put guards on every rich persons hacienda in the state, in case it was robbed, using the State funds to pay for it no matter the cost. Jesus set up his plans to attend the Governors hacienda, knowing that it was protected by a large company of Rurales. 

They arrived one night when all was quiet, there were some guard dogs that the Yoreme contingent of Jesus's gang had to take care of with bows and arrows. When all was ready they crept inside, surprising the guards on each level of the hacienda and overcoming them without a sound being made to raise the alarm.

The Governor was on the third level with a large contingent of Rurales. Jesus and his men burst in with guns levelled and the Rurales were caught unawares. The Governor looked and Jesus and realization of who he actually was hit him like a sledge hammer. The boy from the mines he had whipped and left for dead. He came over with a sense of false bravado and said to Jesus

"Do you actually think you will get out of here alive"?

" I think I have a good chance actually", replied Jesus.

The Governor shouted an order to open fire, and before the last word of the order had left his mouth, he was shot by Jesus through the hip and hit the floor, with a huge pool of blood spreading out beneath him. The Rurales to a man knew it was game over, and dropped their weapons, Jesus men ransacked the office. They found a lot of gold coins and a lot of gold dust that had been extracted from the mine.

Jesus tied up the Rurales, and left with the Governor. They had kidnapped him, and taken all the horses that belonged to the Rurales so they could not follow. They got word out of the robbery and forces were sent from Culiacan to attend the Governors residence. On the way there, they found the Governor on a path leading away from the hacienda, he was naked, Jesus men had stripped him, taken the bullet out of his hip, and plugged the wound and given him opium in water for the pain, two bowls of it. 

He was so drugged that he could hardly talk. He was carried back to his hacienda in shame in front of his men, gibbering like a baby, covered in a horse blanket.

Jesus divided up the gold dust and distributed it among the mine workers who had run off. The Governor knew his funds had been stolen, so he would have to ask the central Government for more money, or he could brush it under the carpet and try and do something with his own funds.

He chose the latter, he contacted an ex military man from the USA, Ranger John Darling. He arrived in Culiacan with just a single bodyguard and spent his first month finding out about his enemy. He had never heard of this man Malverde and was surprised to find out that he had never actually killed anyone. That he treated his prisoners quite well, and that if anyone had been injured, it was because of events, and not because of any sadistic or ill will on the part of the bandits leader, and seemed quite upstanding with morals, not your actual bandit stereotype.

It was Saints Saturday when John Darling decided on action, his plan was to surround the area where Jesus was known to operate, then split his men into units, and chase the bandits they found until they came together where he could either talk them into surrender, and take them into custody, or wipe them out. The Governor urged him to do the latter.

It was a small boy that eventually warned Jesus Malverde of the incoming danger. While Jesus was eating breakfast the boy came up to him and warned him that a gringo with a hundred men had left Culiacan for the mountains and was combing the countryside looking for Malverde.

Malverde assured the boy there was no problem and ruffled the boys hair and smiled. Inside Jesus knew that this man had a reputation and would not give up the chase. A plan began to form in his head involving dynamite that he had seen used in the mines.

Jesus ordered his men to gather up what they had and put some green leaves on their camp fire to make smoke, John Darling could see the column of smoke from quite a distance and set off for it, he was certain he would track down the bandit presently. When he arrived at an empty encampment, he could see the signs of no more than a dozen horses that had set off in ragged order in one particular direction and thinking of his superiority decided that they could run them down quite quickly with the superior large horses he had at his disposal.

Jesus had left a trail a blind man could follow, and it led them down to a river, Jesus was on a ledge over looking the area and watched as Darling and his men stopped by the river bank, Jesus bought his Mauser rifle up to his shoulder, he had got the rifle on one of his raids and it was a beautiful weapon, much more powerful and accurate than the carbines that the Rurales carried that were with Darling.

Jesus took careful aim and fired at a stick of dynamite that he had buried by the river bank, it blew up causing the Rurales to scatter and start firing in all directions. They charged across the river thinking that Jesus was on the other side hidden in the undergrowth.

Jesus looked down, they were now 300 yards beneath him, he fired the Mauser again and one of the Rurales fell wounded. Jesus men opened fire and the Rurales began to fall from their horses, wounded or dead. The poorly trained and fed horses of the Rurales scattered at the gunfire and Darling got off his horse and took cover behind an old log. 

Jesus studied his enemy, he stayed where he was and shouted in defiance, hoping that the bandits would give away their position. They didn't. The Rurales started running, with no stomach for the fight, Darling cursed them. Jesus smiled and took aim and fired a round into the log behind which Darling was hiding. 

Darling replied by opening fire with his Winchester, he knew where they were now, and emptied his weapon with a volley of shots that fell well short of their intended aim point. Jesus took careful aim again and put a round through the Texans hat. He ducked back behind the log. His boot was poking out so Jesus put another round through his boot heel.

Darling knew the situation was useless, he had no ammo left, his men had deserted him and he was pinned down, again he roared defiance at Malverde, who took aim and shot off his right ear. With blood streaming down his neck, he jumped on his horse and took off like the devil himself was right behind him.

Word has it that he rode straight to Culiacan train station, got on a train straight to the USA border and never returned.

The Governor was beside himself with anger, and thought that he would rid himself of this plague, regardless of how much it would cost. Because in his mind it was a matter of cost. He thought that Jesus did not have miraculous luck, but it was the people that hid him that allowed him to carry out his plans. It was the money and food he gave them that bought their benevolence. 

He made wanted posters with a picture of Malverde, and a reward of 1000 golden pesos for his head, or 100 golden pesos for information leading to his capture. The posters were put up all around Culiacan and the first morning there were a lot of people standing round discussing the posters, by the afternoon there were nobody in the streets anywhere near them.

Nobody was going to turn in Malverde, regardless of how much money was offered in reward. Some of the posters were taken to Jesus who had a laugh at the picture of himself. He passed it around his men and asked them if any of them wanted to collect the bounty and give him in. The Chinese and Yoreme contingent of the band didn't know if he was serious or not.

His men decided to turn this back on the Governor and paid a printer to create their own wanted poster with the Governors face on it, except with double the bounty offered for Malverde. The posters were put up and people were found looking at it. The poster with the Governor on it also said that his capture was preferred dead not alive.

This annoyed the Governor even more if that was possible, every time he went out in public in Culiacan he was laughed at by the public, this would however have a negative effect for Jesus.

While this poster for the head of the Governor may have been a joke, there were many poor people that were not in on the joke and thought given the maltreatment that they had had at the hands of the Governor, that it was a serious offer.

One resident of Culiacan, decided to take matters into his own hands to claim the poster reward for the death of the Governor of 2000 golden pesos. He waiting until the Governor was in public in Culiacan and tried to stab him to death with a knife. He didn't get close to the Governor, he was arrested and the Governor had him be-headed and mounted his head on a plaque.

This act was a prescribed action to cause a response from Jesus and it worked. This incident hurt Jesus to his very core, the fact that a joke had cost the life of even one man was too much for Jesus to bear. The Governor was finally starting to understand the psyche of Jesus, and Jesus resolved to get the mans head and body back from the Governor and give him a decent burial.

Meanwhile the Governor had bitten the bullet and written to Diaz Porfirio to request extra resources to take care of this calamity that had befallen him. Porfirio wrote back that he had dispatched a Battalion of  mounted infantry to Culiacan on the train and that he should expect their arrival presently, and that the Governor had better deal with the problem.

The mounted infantry arrived and began mounting patrols around the outskirts of Culiacan, learning the terrain as they move further and further out. These were not green soldiers, their horses were well looked after and they were armed with the latest Mauser bolt action rifles.

Jesus and his band of men moved further into the country side and split up into small units, making them harder to detect by the mounted infantry. Jesus was travelling around only with his friend Baldermir. They had made camp and in the morning were moving quietly through some brush when they were ambushed by soldiers, a volley of rifle fire rang out and Jesus was hit in the lower leg, he and Baldermir galloped off pursued by the soldiers.

Jesus knew the terrain very well and after a short while they lost their pursuers and stopped to look at the wound to Jesus leg. The round had gone straight through, smashing both bones and pulping the flesh around them, they tied a ligature around his leg and set off for cover.

They found a cave, and moved into the back away from any light, they discussed what they could possibly do to get some medical help as Jesus was loosing a lot of blood. Baldemir left to try and find a way through the large amount of soldiers in the surrounding area. The idea to get Jesus to the indigenous or Chinese villages, who could help him without raising any suspicion.

Baldermir was gone most of the day and when he came back Jesus had passed out. Jesus woke up and they spoke about the fact there was no way through and so waited until dark. By this time Jesus leg has swollen horribly below the knee and he could not feel it. Baldermir set off into the dark and managed to find some people, who were friendly to their cause to get word out.

Jesus passed out again, and in the morning Baldermir was out scouting the area, and when he returned he heard some footsteps close, it was Jesus father. He came into the cave, and they lifted Jesus and carried him into the light of the cave mouth to inspect his wound. As they lifted his trouser leg, the smell of infection was over powering, pus was running out of the wounds, and the leg had become gangrenous up to the knee.

Jesus was very sick with fever from the infection in his leg, and he called his father and Baldermir close, he said to Baldermir, I will die soon from this infection unless you cut off my leg, Baldermir could not bring himself to do it and Jesus also made another request. That when he died, Baldermir took his body to the Governor and claimed the 1000 golden pesos reward, and used it to pay each of the men a little money, and the rest should go on buying food for the poor.

Baldermir was overcome with sorrow for his friend, how could this happen to a man with such a noble cause in his heart. The thought of his best friend dying was too much and he left the cave sobbing like a child. Jesus had some words with his father about how he would like to be buried after the Governor had released his body.

After his father had left, Jesus got up and with a mighty effort climbed onto his horse and left the cave, he headed to the Yoreme village, he asked them to cut off his leg but they would not do it, so he asked for a machete so he could do it himself. Nobody would give one to him. He knew he did not have long.

Baldermir guessed where he might have gone and followed to the Yoreme village. When he arrived Jesus was unconscious and close to death. Baldermir cradled his friends head in his lap, and listened to his last few breaths. Jesus slipped away in his arms.

Baldermir did as requested and took his body to the Governor in Culiacan. The Governor came to see the body and confirmed it was Malverde. Now he was in a quandary, he wanted justice to be done and he wanted it to be seen to be done in front of the people that had supported him.

The Governor came up with a plan, he would announce that Malverde had been captured, and would be hanged in a public place. The Governor would prop his body up upon a horse, then hang the corpse. On the day in question, all arrangements were made, there was a massive throng of people who refused to believe that Malverde had been caught for one, and that how could he die, when he was capable or miracles in their eyes, and was beloved of god, or how could he have done what he had.

Baldermir and some of Jesus men were in the audience, Jesus was led up to the noose and it was placed around his neck, Baldermir knew he was dead, as did the Governor, the executioner slapped the horse on the flanks and it bolted, then to the Govenors and Baldermirs total surprise, Jesus legs began to kick, and his hands raised to his neck, his eyes opened and his mouth opened to shout something.

"He still lives"! roared Baldermir and the crowd surged forward, in an effort to get to Jesus, the Governors men forming a line in front of him, fought to hold the crowd back. The last vestiges of life left Jesus body and his armed slipped to his sides and his body was still. Many in the crowd sobbing. A look of horror on the face of the Governor.

The Governor decreed that his body should be left to rot as an example. Guarded by soldiers by the side of the road, at this site, was later erected the original shrine to Jesus Malverde. The Yoreme villagers made a trip to the site of where Jesus body was on display, the young girl who has transfixed Jesus with her singing walked up to his body, the soldiers for some reason stood aside for her and she cut down Jesus body. She laid it down, with a reverence, and put a stone upon his chest and picked one more up and threw it away. Each of the Yoreme who had made the trip did the same, one stone upon his body to cover it, and each picked up a stone from the floor and threw it away.

The guards, not knowing the Yoreme ritual of saying goodbye to a loved one were stunned by this spectacle, and by the time they had finished, Jesus body was covered.

Its worth reflecting now on Jesus, Jesus is prayed to for two things, firstly for good luck in any venture and secondly for the restoration of property. The only reason government was brought about by civilisation was to protect people and protect their property. Before a Judge, especially in the Common law jurisdiction,
property and the restoration of it is the most important thing. When you have a corrupt Government and Court system that dispenses summary justice, where property is stolen, you have no recourse like the Common Law vehicle Replevin, and so many people looked to Jesus to restore their property, which meant in reality he had replaced the 'Government. I read many articles while researching this subject matter, and wikipedia among others, some writers doubt that Jesus ever existed, and put forward the idea that he is a mix of legend of the lives of two other characters from that time, Heraclio Bernal, "The thunderbolt of Sinaloa"

Heraclio Bernal

 and Felipe Bochomo. Bochomo lead an army of nearly 6000 men in a militia that was Government recognized and so does not really fit the Malverde stereotype.

Bernal died in 1888 and so was not alive at the time of the supposed death of Malverde. There are many similarities in the stories of the two men, they were deemed to operate in the same area of Sinaloa, but Bernal also operated in Durango. Bernal also hid out in a cave, as did Malverde when he was injured. They were both pursued by the same Governor of Sinaloa, and carried out the same kind of robberies, though Bernal was not so benevolent with the proceedings, and certainly didn't have any qualms about killing people. He also decided to run for political office, but could not reach an agreement with Diaz the then Dictator.

The cave in Sinaloa where Bernal allegedly had his hideout

Others speculate that his surname Malverde, was given to him by wealthy people he robbed, rather than handed down by his paternal grandfather, who changed his name in an effort not to be recognized by authorities for murdering an abuser of his sister.

Most of the information in this article comes from a book on Jesus Malverde by Manuel Esquivel. Manuel has a Masters degree in Spanish Literature from the Autonomous University of Mexico, he is a Professor at various different Universities, and carries out projects for the Historical Association for the City of Mexico.

With heroes of the status of Jesus who lived in the 1500's and before, it is difficult to qualify the veracity of their existence. Given Jesus lived from 1870 to 1909, the chances he was a real person and not a fable is quite likely. At the time of writing the book, there would still have been people alive that would have come into contact with Jesus Malverde.

Regardless of whether anyone else around the world believes in him, the whole of Sinaloa are more than convinced that he was real, and that the efforts he made to bring some justice to the poor of Sinaloa at a very difficult time in its history, is indisputable.

Narco's may venerate Jesus Malverde, and I suspect this is due to his time protecting the opium fields and escorting the opium loads from the Mountains through Culiacan and Los Mochis. But the fact is that he is venerated much more by the poor of Sinaloa, than by Narco's. They see corruption from the local Government of Sinaloa, and identify with Jesus, as one of the few men who stood up to them, and was clever enough to avoid them and outwit them for many years.

Narco's like to pray to him, because their prayers require no repentance for the violence and wrongs they are about to do. When one looks at the behavior of Malverde, he would certainly turn in his grave at the kidnappings, extortion and killings of ordinary Mexicans, the very people he sought to help and protect. It is clear from the above writings that Malverde had a very strong belief in not killing. When he did shoot to protect either himself, other people or their villages, he never shot to kill, even though he had the skills to kill cleanly with one shot.

He purposely shot to wound, and invariably helped those people he had had to shoot. One could put forward the case that modern day Narco's are a variation of anti-Malverde. When modern Narco's threaten Government, they do it for themselves and not for anything as noble as the people, though they may claim as much, when occasionally, their propaganda officers organize a charitable donation, like the Cartel del Golfo during the Typhoons of last year.

One thing is for sure and that is Jesus Malverde has made a lot of money for  people in Sinaloa, on top of the charitable donations that are given in his name when Narco's and others pray to him for good luck, or the return of property, every kind of Malverde merchandise is available. Malverde oil, incense, photos, images, beer, belt buckles, jewellery, pistol grips, caps, t-shirts, talismans, as well as books, comics, films and corridos, the list is limitless. He is a multi-million dollar business.

Whether Malverde actually existed or is an extension of the "Thunderbolt of Sinaloa", Heraclio Bernal, will probably never be proven, but suffice to say every 3rd of May, people of Sinaloa will drink to and venerate their hero from long ago.

Not your average narco's, but ordinary people seek luck from Malverde

For further reading about Jesus Malverde.

Jesus Malverde by Manuel Esquivel is available in ebook form ISBN 6079409100 , this book is only available in Spanish.


  1. Muchas Gracias
    Arthur de Suiza

    1. El malverde es el santito de uno que otro mariguano por aca compas...

      El mariguano de zapopan

  2. Malverde couldn't even save chapo

    1. I don't think nothing can save chapo, he's stressed out in his cell

  3. So he was not a drug dealer. And helped the poor. Cartels kill rape kidnap the poor. They r no Malverde probably no real Malverde but great story. Wish there was a Hero. Mexico needs a hero

    1. Yep in analysing the article at the end I did say that modern narco's are a version of anti-malverde

    2. I agree Malverde was no drug dealer. Maybe a Robin hood. OTIS great read I am student of Mexican history. My family lived in Mexico during this period. My Great grandmother hated to leave
      But my great grandfather was killed . She had no choice. We never went back and became Americans

    3. So there is no comparison of Jesus Malverde actions and activities to these Narcos. Clearly this individual did not rape , murder and plunder its citizens with havoc.
      Sounds like an embellishment of Narco culture with a twist I guess!
      A product, a branding piece of art for the millions who believe in the righteous man. And a drug culture for those who truly don't know the significance.
      Nevertheless it's an interesting article.

  4. Villa and Zapata were hero
    But did they change Mexico???????

    1. Those who made up the core of the Zapatista rebellion in the 80s were true heroes. The government created the GAFE who crushed them and out of which originazed the Zetas.

  5. It all started to go down hill with the execution of Maximilian I.

    The rest is history as they say.

  6. Now I see why people love malverde and the capos in sinaloa because both help the poor and hate the rich , wow very good story border land beat im always supporting you guys from China

    1. But why do they rape the hija of the poor

  7. People might just pray to el chapo he did more for the people build roads and hospital and never mess with innocent people but really after all he was a criminal I don't know how dumb people from sinaloa could be to pray to a statue guesse it's a culture thing
    Tamaulipas Entren Al Topon

  8. I've always found it funny how stories like this always get people commenting like crazy and stories about gun battles and the but huggers coming out in force in the comment section but for stories that mater like the one about Dr Mireles people seem to disappear smh

  9. Malvarde is miraculous. Just ask all the druggies getting their fix on a daily basis. Ask and you shall receive.

  10. "Chapo never messed with innocent people" Really how about all the families an friends of the addicts he created with his heroin, crystal and heroin?? How about all the innocent victims of the sprung, high flying tweakers that rob and kill to feed their addiction? Chapo and his type have killed, hurt and impacted more victims than Hitler did in WWII!

    1. You are correct to assume such but there are many who will debate such. It's called FREE WILL.
      There are many man made products that kill thousands every year and are legal. FDA approved, EPA approved, ect....
      Yes it has created an unwanted attention. An epidemic of grave proportions. Drug usage and its effects are well known. Its consequences and the destruction within and around those.

    2. FREE WILL?? Oh you mean the one that got tested and failed way back when Adam bit the apple. Unfortunately, there will always be a weak majority that cant help but take a bite. Oh what a paradise this would be if all the addicts instead would have chosen to impact this society in a positive way. Imagine..

    3. Definitely worth imagining!
      Then again life's memorable moments are those with hiccups. That's what' makes us unique. An opportunity to make better decisions and change the next time around.
      Descartes stated it best " I think therefore I am '.

  11. The people need hope This was an excellent essay, and very well written

  12. Wheres all the stuff thats happening in reynosa some crazy stuff is happening m42 & m43 people are getting screw.

    1. ay un cambio de jefes despues de la muerte del comadante toro esta que arde Tampa
      Tamaulipas Entren Al Topon

  13. Arriba malverde!! And Mexico, frankly this story makes me feel proud of being Mexican, and I do believe that SR. Malverde would be pissed, if he saw the way people were running around like savages doing the most thoughtless, ridiculous, tweaker-esque, stuff out there, just plain gross.. thank you Borderland Beat

  14. Is actually sad to see the mexican culture!!!decay of morals and religion to the level of narco fanatics...apply the death penalty to all drug dealers.. to any one involved in corruption allowing drug transactions death penalty.. that would slow the problem down.

    1. Sad ? No it's normal , when the government doesn't give a damn about the poor people living in the mountainous areas obviously they group up and do what they can and is the most profitable for them ,which is drug trafficking , it's quite normal , are you going to die of hunger or sell some drugs to help out your family ? Even though it's wrong?? , the answer is very simple . I say we shouldn't judge or make ignorant comments without ever been faced with such a situation.In Sinaloa you will hear drug dealers talk about the fact that they have to choose between white (good) or black ( bad) and most of the time people end of choosing grey only so they and their families can eat . Being at home chilling in the US this seem unbelievable but when that's the only way to survive many master that path quite well because they start since they are little kids .

  15. You have to be blind and a fool to follow this guy and stuip also make your own path in life people are so guable hard to believe he's a just person like you and me no better no different trust me

  16. Great story always wonder about the history behind malverde, Great job Otis keep up the good work. All I do is look forward to story's like this and of the many characters of the "narco culture" because we like or not it's part of Mexico's history.


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