LA CUMBRE, Colombia — Do you believe in evil spirits? Many people in this western Colombian town apparently do.
A 52-year-old named Brother Hermes Cifuentes keeps busy driving the demons away. He says he’s performed countless exorcisms for more than 20 years, having learned everything he knows from his father.
While Colombia’s a largely Catholic country, its culture also mixes indigenous and African customs in often vibrant, colorful ways.
Cifuentes’ exorcisms are quite the spectacle. Possessed subjects are smeared head to toe in dark mud and then undergo a ritual using fire, candles, flowers, eggs and other ordinary items.