In Venezuela, the cult of the Santos Malandros (‘Holy Thugs’) is gaining devoted followers.

Ismael Sanchez is the boss of the cult, he made a living in the sixties and seventies robbing people, until he was shot. But his followers say he was more like a Venezuelan Robin Hood than a common thief, and they have made a shrine for him at the General Cemetery in southern Caracas.

As their country’s crisis deepens, Venezuelans are increasingly turning to these peculiar saints to ask for advice and protection.

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