La Santa Muerte, Holy Death, "is only one among several otherworldly figures Mexicans have been turning to as their country has been overwhelmed by every possible diffi­culty—drought, an outbreak of swine flu followed closely by the collapse of tourism, the deple­tion of the reserves of oil that are the main export, an economic meltdown, and above all, the wretched gift of the drug trade and its highly publicized and gruesome violence. ... Unknown to most Mexicans until recently, this death figure resembles medieval representations of the grim reaper but is fundamentally different from the playful skeletons displayed on Day of the Dead."