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Who Is Santo In The Netflix Series ‘Santo’? Why Were Young Children Abducted?

“Santo” is a 2022 crime-thriller series on Netflix which revolves around a drug lord who’s known for performing mysterious rituals. Well, no one had ever seen him, and he was known as Santo to his followers. Satanic rituals are involved in this show, and that’s the main element, as the whole series includes mind-bending plot twists that add more to its thriller genre. The series begins with the murder of Cristóbal Nilo Martinez, a criminal convicted of trafficking and robbery. The perpetrators shot him before setting his body on fire. The same incident took place with another trafficking convict who was killed in the same way. By this time, the officers were sure that both cases were linked to one another. But for some reason, the gang that murdered Cristóbal also abducted his eight-year-old son, Mario. Soon, the authorities discover the body of a young boy in the waters of Salvador, Brazil. The child was decapitated and murdered brutally. Strangely, his entire body was present in the bag except for his brain. Previously, many children had disappeared in broad daylight, and within an instant, it was clear that Santo was the one responsible.

To crack the case, Agent Ernesto Cardona decides to go undercover in Santo’s secret organization. But joining this organization comes with multiple risks, as he’ll be separated from his family and the outside world. Strangely, he noticed that the people who worked under him had mysterious cross marks on their eyes. But the operation was stopped mid-way since they recognized Cardona’s identity. Cardona manageds to come back safely, and things get more complicated when the officers receive a frantic audio message from Santo’s mistress, Bárbara. They traced her call to an abandoned cement factory, and here Bárbara’s body was hanged from a ceiling, but fortunately, she was alive. Santo’s mistress never saw his face, but she revealed his disturbing secrets, and according to her, Santo had made a pact with Iku, also known as Death. So, to keep the oath intact, Santo was sacrificing people.

The Spanish police saved Cardona from Santo’s hideout. His body was filled with bruises, and his eyelids had the same cross mark too. Since Cardona was missing the federal police prepared a search mission. Cardona provided more information on Adandozan, the African King of Dahomey. This revelation was bizzare since it was painted on the walls with blood. This King chose victims for a ritualistic sacrifice, and all the bodies were decapitated. Once the bodies were severed, people drank their blood. Similarly, Santo’s main aim was to gain victory over everyone. He wanted his illegal trades to work, and things were in his favor. Meanwhile, Barbara was released, and it seemed Cardona had established a closer relationship with her, and, to escape from Santo, she decided to live in Madrid. Now, the cops were looking for her again. Santo was responsible for all the rituals, and both Cardona and Barbara had no choice but to follow all his commands.

Cardona couldn’t put up with the sudden changes in his environment and decided to run away. His lack of memory caused massive problems to the Spanish cops since he didn’t provide them with authentic clues. The Spanish police wanted him to work with them on this case since he had a close encounter with Santo. But he refused to continue his investigation with them instead Cardona chose to travel back to Brazil. It’s been more than six months since Cardona was reported to be missing. But guess what? Cardona chose to stay back at Madrid. He receives a mysterious letter and video which included his participation in the decapitation of Mario. Cardona wanted to set things right as the horrific scenes from the ritual didn’t leave his mind.  

More bodies were found, and all the corpses belonged to that of young children. As per the forensics team, the uncovered remains belonged to at least three children, and two of them were identified easily. This chaotic situation helped Cardona reveal more information about the missing children. Here, he revealed the details of O’Pai. Santo would often have his dead master’s corpse on the chair, and all the cult members would offer sacrifices to him. The thought of hurting children itself gives us creeps, but Santo knew that this was one of the worst things that could be done. To his followers, he is a leader and God. Meanwhile, Cardona made a huge mistake by establishing a close relationship with Barbara.

Cardona revealed that Santo was messing with the cops. Until now, the officers had believed that they were close to his secrets, but in reality, it is the opposite. Cardona frantically attacks officer Millan and explains to him that Santo is in the neighborhood of San Miguel. As of now, he is planning to sacrifice more children, and nobody believed Millan until an anonymous person decided to call the officers. The authorities were disturbed since he had captured a young boy who was desperately calling out for help. The officers were able to track down the location, and it’s in Colonia Las Fuentes. Even though saving the boy was a tough task, the cops achieved it. Here more children were abducted, and Millan was stuck at Santo’s hideout. Santo’s men captured him to make him a part of the cult.

Towards the end of “Santo,” it becomes very clear that Barbara was involved in the ritualistic practices too. Cardona approaches the hideout, and Millan’s condition reminds him of his memories with the cult, but this time Cardona doesn’t give up and saves the kid who was their next sacrifice. Well, this time, none of the children are killed, and it is revealed that Barbara is Santo. She put on this mask and killed over a hundred children for her own goodwill. In the end, Cardona couldn’t kill her, and he even stopped Millan from doing the same. The series ends on a sad note, as Barbara is ready to torture Millan’s daughter for revenge.


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Raschi Acharya
Raschi Acharya
Raschi Acharya is a Mass Media graduate and she is currently working and living in Mumbai. From a very young age, Raschi was heavily interested in reading and writing. She prefers to write everything that her mind nurtures her to do as shaping up her imagination is her forte!

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