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    CARACAS, VENEZUELA: A woman prays and smokes tobacco at the tomb of Ismael Sanchez, the leader of ‘Los Santos Malandros’ (Holy Thugs), a criminal collective from the 1960s and 1970s who have since become regarded as saints by some Venezuelans. Hugo Chavez’s social programs did little to alleviate his country’s security problems, and many Venezuelans pray to figures such as Ismael to keep them safe. Legend has it that Ismael would steal food and supplies and redistribute them amongst the poor in his neighborhood.

    From The Legacy of Venezuela’s Bolivarian Liberator, by  Alvaro Ybarra Zavala

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