Hermes Cifuentes, a Colombian spiritual healer, prays at an altar in his apartment before performing a ritual of exorcism in La Cumbre, Colombia. Hermes Cifuentes, a Colombian spiritual healer, prays at an altar in his apartment before performing a ritual of exorcism in La Cumbre, Colombia.
Diana R., who claims to be possessed by spirits, lies in a ring of fire during a ritual of exorcism performed by Hermes Cifuentes in La Cumbre, Colombia. Diana R., who claims to be possessed by spirits, lies in a ring of fire during a ritual of exorcism performed by Hermes Cifuentes in La Cumbre, Colombia.
Handmade wooden crosses seen during a ritual of exorcism performed by Hermes Cifuentes in La Cumbre, Colombia. Handmade wooden crosses seen during a ritual of exorcism performed by Hermes Cifuentes in La Cumbre, Colombia.
Diana R., who claims to be possessed by spirits, remains covered by black mud after a ritual of exorcism performed by Hermes Cifuentes in La Cumbre, Colombia. Diana R., who claims to be possessed by spirits, remains covered by black mud after a ritual of exorcism performed by Hermes Cifuentes in La Cumbre, Colombia.
Diana R., who claims to be possessed by spirits, lies on the ground surrounded by crosses and flowers during a ritual of exorcism performed by Hermes Cifuentes in La Cumbre, Colombia. Diana R., who claims to be possessed by spirits, lies on the ground surrounded by crosses and flowers during a ritual of exorcism performed by Hermes Cifuentes in La Cumbre, Colombia.
Hermes Cifuentes, a Colombian spiritual healer, helds a crucifix in his hands during a ritual of exorcism in La Cumbre, Colombia. Hermes Cifuentes, a Colombian spiritual healer, helds a crucifix in his hands during a ritual of exorcism in La Cumbre, Colombia.
Diana R., who claims to be possessed by spirits, lies on the ground surrounded by flowers after a ritual of exorcism performed by Hermes Cifuentes in La Cumbre, Colombia. Diana R., who claims to be possessed by spirits, lies on the ground surrounded by flowers after a ritual of exorcism performed by Hermes Cifuentes in La Cumbre, Colombia.
Diana R., who claims to be possessed by spirits, steps on eggs during a ritual of exorcism performed by Hermes Cifuentes in La Cumbre, Colombia. Diana R., who claims to be possessed by spirits, steps on eggs during a ritual of exorcism performed by Hermes Cifuentes in La Cumbre, Colombia.
Hermes Cifuentes, a Colombian spiritual healer, performs a ritual of exorcism on Diana R., who claims to be possessed by spirits, in La Cumbre, Colombia. Hermes Cifuentes, a Colombian spiritual healer, performs a ritual of exorcism on Diana R., who claims to be possessed by spirits, in La Cumbre, Colombia.

Exorcism ritual

Valle del Cauca, Colombia – May 2012

Exorcism is an ancient religious practice of evicting spirits, generally called demons or evil. Although the formal catholic rite of exorcism is rarely seen and must be only conducted by a designated priest, there are many pastors and preachers in Latin America performing exorcism ceremonies. The 52-year-old Brother Hermes, as the exorcist calls himself, claims to have been carrying out the healing rituals for more than 20 years. Using fire, dirt, candles, flowers, eggs and other natural-based items, in conjunction with Christian religous formulas, he attempts to drive the supposed evil spirit out of a victim's mind and body.

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