A Catholic bishop is planning to use a helicopter to spray holy water over an entire city that he claims is being plagued by demons.
Monsignor Rubén Darío Jaramillo Montoya – bishop for the Colombian seaport city of Buenaventura – is borrowing the chopper from the navy in a bid to cleanse the streets of “wickedness” on 14 July.
“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,” Mr Montoya is reported to have told a Colombian radio station.
“So that God’s blessing comes and gets rid of all the wickedness that is in our streets,” said the bishop, ordained in 2017 by Pope Francis.
Human Rights Watch issued a report on the city detailing the recent history of abductions by successor groups to right-wing paramilitary guerrillas. The gangs have been known to maintain “chop-up houses” where they slaughter victims.
“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 press, according to Newsweek.
“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.”
Although there have been efforts to tackle violence by creating a “humanitarian zone” in the city, the bishop said there have been 51 murders in Buenaventura in 2019 so far.
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