‘Ritual’ Mutilation in Mexico Inspires Sensationalistic Headlines

This story has made the headlines today: A Mexican woman has been charged with gouging our her son’s eyes with her fingers during some kind of “ritual” or “ceremony” performed by an unknown group in Nezahualcoyotl, a suburb of Mexico City.

Though no specific group or cult has been named yet, the media coverage is certainly suggesting some kind of occult connection, and several articles mentioned the “narcos-satanicos” killings of the 1980s including the infamous ‘Matamoros Cult’ murders in 1989, in which fifteen bodies, including that of a Texas college student murdered while on spring break, were found in a mass grave and attributed to a cult with drug cartel connections. It was widely rumored that the 1987 film THE BELIEVERS was “required viewing” for some of the cult members deemed responsible for the killings.

The Matomoros killings were covered obsessively by American talk shows, who used the news headline lovefest to fuel a widespread panic of the satanic variety (you know the kind), and invited guests who claimed to have been raised in satanic cults onto the same episodes where the case was discussed with the Texas victim’s friends and family members. Main offenders, naturally: panic mongers Oprah Winfrey and Geraldo Rivera.

In today’s case, the particulars of the “ritual” have not yet been reported. Most headlines that use the word ‘ritual’ to report this story have written “apparent ritual” but some have referred to a “drug-fuelled ritual” (though did not mention what specific drug may have been used).

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About Peg Aloi

I'm a freelance writer, film critic, media studies scholar and teacher, baker, gardener, singer and animal lover. Oh, and witch.


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