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Holy Thugs of Venezuela (Documentary Short)

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Published on Aug 20, 2012

Citizens of Caracas, one of the world's most violent cities, bow down and worship statuettes of deceased criminals.

Venezuelans are traditionally Catholic. But in a country where at least 14,000 people were murdered last year, believing in traditional religious figures can sometimes get a wee bit difficult. The Santos Malandros (in English, the Holy Thugs) are an alternative set of saints whose common traits include sideways baseball hats, cigarettes, and guns. We thought it was either kind of perfect or really troubling that in Caracas, the world's most violent city, people are worshipping at the feet of now-dead armed criminals. In this episode, we visit the shrines of the Holy Thugs to find out more.

Hosted by Ryan Duffy | Originally aired in 2011 on http://VICE.com

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