Friday, August 9, 2013

Afro-Brazilian Priestess Dies in Evangelically Inspired Attack

A crime with serious social repercussions occurred in Paraná, a city in the south of Brazil, this past Saturday. In a murder being called the "Slaughter of Londrina," four people were murdered. Among them, the spiritual leader of the black community, Vilma Santos de Oliveira, her mother, Allial de Oliveira dos Santos, 86, and her granddaughter, Olivia de Oliveira Santos, who was only 10 years of age.

Vilma was better known as Yalaorixá Yá Makumby, Mãe de Santo (mother of saint or priestess of an Afro-Brazilian religion of Central African origin) who was one of the main leaders of Candomblé de Angola in the region. She was a neighbor of Diego Quirino Ramos, 30, the confessed murderer. What has caused social tensions is that he claims to feel no remorse because his victims were possessed by "spiritual wickedness", a reference to his evangelical beliefs.

He told  William Douglas Soares, the details of what happened, but defends himself by claiming to have received "divine orders" to commit the murders.

A friend of Diego says he was acting strangely on Saturday and claimed to be "hearing the voice of God."Arriving home, he stabbed and killed his mother first, Ariadne Benck dos Anjos, 48. Then went to the house of his neighbors.

"He said he did not see the victims as people he knew, but that these people embodied spiritual wickedness, and were dominated by evil spirits and he meant to free them. The voices have said that  "to do justice he should go naked," said Douglas Soares. He added that Diego keeps talking about "theories of the end times and using the term 'liberating truth.'"

The probable cause of his "psychotic episode" was a fight with his girlfriend, Patricia Amorim Dias, 19, after a disagreement in which she and her mother, Ariadne, told him that his behavior was "not of God." When he tried to attack Patricia, his mother intervened and was stabbed. Then he left the house and went naked to the house next door, where he killed three other people. Patricia managed to escape with her life. He has a history of drug addiction since age 13 and has gone through four hospitalizations.

From the first moment, based on the testimony of Diego, there was talk of motivations based upon "religious intolerance." In the house, which was also the Candomblé Temple of Yalaorixá Makumby, all the religious images were found on the floor, but according to the source were used as self defense. "No one is stabbed without trying to defend themselves," he said. There is no testimony nor witnesses to confirm whether the victim or the attacker knocked over the statues. If the attacker did so, it would be incontestably an act of intentional desecration of a religious site.

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