Bishop to spray holy water over city from helicopter in mass exorcism of 'demons' this weekend

‘We have to get rid of the devil,’ says Colombian monsignor Rubén Darío Jaramillo Montoya

Adam Forrest
Friday 12 July 2019 07:37 BST
Human Rights Watch looks at the crisis in Buenaventura

A Catholic bishop will spray holy water over an entire city from a military helicopter in an attempt to conquer the demons he believes are plaguing it.

Monsignor Rubén Darío Jaramillo Montoya will perform the mass exorcism for the Colombian seaport of Buenaventura during the city’s annual patron saints’ festivities.

“We want to go around the whole of Buenaventura, from the air and pour holy water onto it to see if we exorcise all those demons that are destroying our port,” he told a Colombian radio station.

The bishop, ordained in 2017 by Pope Francis, added he wanted to “get rid of all the wickedness that is in our streets” during the helicopter flight.

Buenaventura, the South American nation’s biggest Pacific seaport, is notorious for drug trafficking and the violence wage by criminal gangs.

“In Buenaventura we have to get rid of the devil to see if we can return the tranquillity that the city has lost with so many crimes, acts of corruption and so much evil and drug trafficking,” Mr Montoya told local media.

“It will be a great public demonstration for the entire community, where we will pour holy water to see if so many bad things end and the devil goes out of here.”

Human Rights Watch has issued a report detailing Buenaventura’s history of abductions and killings by gangs known to maintain “chop-up houses” where victims are slaughtered.

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Although there have been efforts to tackle violence by creating a “humanitarian zone” in the city, Mr Montoya said there had been 51 murders in 2019 so far.

Last year the Vatican announced a new training course for exorcism because of the increased demand for “deliverance ministry”.

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