(MENAFN) The chief of police in Colombia, General Henry Sanabria, has claimed that he and other officers have used exorcism and prayer to tackle crime and the country's most powerful criminals. In an interview with Semana magazine, Sanabria said that these religious practices have helped the police throughout the last 50 years of armed conflict in the South American country. He cited police operations in which drug cartel leader Pablo Escobar, FARC guerrilla leader Alfonso Cano, and his military chief known as "Mono Jojoy" were killed as examples of the effectiveness of these practices.
Sanabria, sitting in his office surrounded by crucifixes, effigies of the Virgin Mary, and other Catholic symbols, claimed that the existence of the devil is certain and that he has seen and felt him. He also claimed that criminals use witchcraft and that in one operation, a police officer was able to kill a criminal by "praying while shooting."
Sanabria's statements have sparked fierce debates on social media in Colombia, a secular country with Catholic traditions. While some have criticized his use of exorcism and prayer as unprofessional and ineffective, others have praised his efforts to tackle crime using all available means.
President Gustavo Petro did not express concern about Sanabria's statements, but the use of exorcism and prayer by police officers has raised questions about the role of religion in law enforcement. Some argue that such practices blur the line between religion and state, while others argue that they are a legitimate tool in the fight against crime.
Sanabria's claims highlight the complex nature of crime and law enforcement in Colombia, a country that has been plagued by drug trafficking, guerrilla warfare, and paramilitary violence for decades. While some may question his methods, Sanabria's efforts to tackle crime using all available means illustrate the challenges faced by law enforcement officials in Colombia and the lengths to which they are willing to go to bring criminals to justice.
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