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Bishop performs ‘mass exorcism’ of entire city atop fire truck

Global News logo Global News 2019-07-16 Josh K. Elliott
a group of people walking down a street: Catholic Bishop Ruben Dario Jaramillo Montoya rides on a fire truck sprinkling holy water in Buenaventura, Colombia, Saturday, July 13, 2019. © AP Photo/Fernando Vergara Catholic Bishop Ruben Dario Jaramillo Montoya rides on a fire truck sprinkling holy water in Buenaventura, Colombia, Saturday, July 13, 2019.

A Catholic bishop in Colombia had hoped to exorcise some "demons" by air-dropping holy water over his entire crime-ridden city — but the devil was in the details.

Monsignor Ruben Dario Jaramillo Montoya failed to secure a helicopter for his stunt last Saturday, so he was forced to perform his mass exorcism from atop a fire truck in Buenaventura. The bishop rode the balloon-covered vehicle through the city's downtrodden neighbourhoods and flicked water on people from a bucket on top of the truck.

"We want to construct one city, one door, one community between everyone, in peace," he told a crowd of supporters on Sunday.

Buenaventura is one of most violent cities in Colombia with high rates of murder, abduction, dismemberment, drug trafficking and gang violence.

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Montoya hopes he's addressed some of those problems with his attempted mass exorcism.

"We have to drive the devil out of Buenaventura, to see if we can restore the peace and tranquility that our city has lost due to so many crimes, acts of corruption and with so much evil and drug trafficking that invades our port," the bishop told a local radio station last week.

Montoya had originally hoped to conduct the mass exorcism from an Army helicopter.

"We want to go around the whole of Buenaventura, from the air, and pour holy water on it to see if we can exorcise and get out all those demons that are destroying our port," the bishop said last week.

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He said he felt compelled to act after a 10-year-old girl was brutally murdered.

"Let us build a Buenaventura that Colombia needs and we all want," he said on Sunday.

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