The Colombian Army is letting a Catholic bishop use a helicopter to pour holy water over a city to carry out an “exorcism” on “demons” to stop the wave of violence sweeping its streets.
Local media report Ruben Dario Jaramillo Montoya wants to use his position as Bishop of Buenaventura, a municipality in the western Colombian department of Valle del Cauca, to pour holy water from a helicopter onto the city’s streets.
Montoya told local radio station Blu Radio: “We want to go around the whole of Buenaventura, from the air, and pour holy water onto it to see if we exorcise and get out all those demons that are destroying our port, so that God’s blessing comes and gets rid of all the wickedness that is in our streets.”
Local media report the National Army support the bishop’s plan and have offered him the use of a helicopter to carry it out. They are reportedly working with the priest to work out where they will pour the holy water.
The bishop said: “Buenaventura should have the Devil taken away so that we can see if we can get back the tranquillity the city has lost with all this crime, wickedness and the drug trafficking that is hitting our port.”
It is said that the exorcism will take place between 13th and 14th July, during a local festival.
According to local media, between January and May this year, 51 homicides were reported in the city, 20 more than in the same period last year.
The latest murder in the city shocked the country when Diana Tatiana Rodriguez, 10, was found with clear signs of having been tortured and sexually abuses. Her uncle, Jhon Edwar Quintero Urquiza was arrested and reportedly confessed to the crime.
Buenaventura is one of the municipalities which was worst hit by the armed conflict in Colombia. It is said that the municipality turned into a strategic spot for the drug route to the United States. In 2010, a car bomb attack left nine people died and more than 20 injured.
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