Colombian bishop hopes holy water will curb city's crime



Rubén Darío Jaramillo Montoya traveled on a fire truck to some of Buenaventura's most crime-ridden neighborhoods on Saturday, sprinkling water that he had blessed in an attempt to thwart drug trafficking gangs and other illegal groups.

"In Buenaventura, we have to get rid of the devil to see if we can return to the tranquility that the city has lost with so many crimes, acts of corruption and so much evil and drug trafficking", Montoya continued.

"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".

Despite efforts to tackle violence by creating a "humanitarian zone" in the city, Montoya said there have been 51 murders there so far this year.

"Where blood flowed, where blood was shed, we are now going to pour holy water as a sign of reparation at the place where those who died were struck down by violence", the bishop noted when discussing the holy water drop.

The priest's decision comes after the Vatican introduced a training course for exorcism after Pope Francis revealed there has become an increasing demand for "deliverance ministry".

The Bishop of Buenaventura told ACI Prensa, CNA's Spanish language sister agency, July 10 that the blessing will be done July 13, but not from a helicopter.

"We are going to form a line of vehicles with a firetruck and a statue of Saint Bonaventure".

The caravan and the people who will be waiting throughout the city "will form a people who are going to reinterpret those places of death so they will now be places of life", Jaramillo said. "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".

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