December 9, 2023

(NewsNation) — The Colombian nationwide police director who spoke about utilizing exorcism and prayer to combat crimes and the cartels has been eliminated, Colombian President Gustavo Petro announced this week.

Gen. William Salamanca will exchange the earlier director, Gen. Henry Sanabria, Petro introduced in a tweet Wednesday. The president didn’t elaborate additional, however Inside Minister Alfonso Prada stated Sanabria’s alternative wasn’t tied to his non secular beliefs, The Related Press reported.

In an interview with Semana journal earlier than his departure, Sanabria stated “behind each evil motion there’s a presence of evil,” and stated he believes prayer and exorcism will help combat organized crime and cartel violence.

Sanabria instructed the journal a few prior exorcism “in opposition to Pablo Escobar,” and amulets that saved criminals alive after their pulses stopped.

“The existence of the satan is for certain,” Sanabria stated in the course of the Semana interview. “I’ve seen it, I’ve perceived it. For a lot of, it’s a fable and others don’t consider. And that’s OK as a result of, let’s say, the satan says so, he denies himself.”

Sanabria stated he believes some criminals are possessed or influenced by what he known as evil spirits, and he recalled pulling out crucifixes to guard officers throughout protests. Earlier than some operations, police weapons are blessed and officers are instructed to “shoot however pray,” the police instructed Semana.

The previous nationwide police director was outspoken about his Catholic beliefs and was brazenly against abortion and using contraceptives.

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Colombia, which additionally makes use of trendy policing and prosecution, isn’t alone in sometimes counting on non secular ceremonies to fight crime or social unrest.

In 2020 in Portland, Oregon, Archbishop Alexander Pattern led a procession of greater than 200 folks to a metropolis park and provided a prayer earlier than conducting a Latin exorcism ceremony to purge the neighborhood of evil, The Related Press reported.

That very same day, San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone carried out an exorcism outdoors a Catholic church in San Rafael, the place protesters had knocked down a statue of Father Junipero Serra, the AP reported.