LA PAZ – Animal rights groups allege that animals are being sacrificed in Satanic rituals at a spot off the highway linking the Bolivian cities of La Paz and El Alto known as the “Devil’s Curve,” the La Razon newspaper reported Sunday.
Supposed Satanists are performing the rituals on Tuesdays and Fridays at a four-meter (13-foot) rock that serves as an altar near a place where animals are sold for sacrifices, the newspaper said.
Rabbits, chickens, dogs and black cats have been sacrificed, with the rituals usually taking place in February and August, said Susana del Carpio, director of the animal rights group Animales SOS.
The animals are wrapped in cloths and stabbed, buried alive or strangled, Del Carpio said.
Animals are forced to drink alcohol before being sacrificed and about 50 people participate in the rituals, a highway maintenance worker told La Razon.
Police destroyed an altar at the site bearing the inscription “Tio Lucifer” (Uncle Lucifer) three years ago following the discovery of a human body nearby.
Investigators suspected that the body may have been linked to the Satanic cult.
Supposed Satanic groups mix Indian beliefs about animal sacrifices, especially of llamas, to Pachamama (Mother Earth) to bring about prosperity and produce good harvests with other ideas.
Lawmakers are working on animal protection legislation that would punish those convicted in animal abuse cases with prison sentences of up to six years in prison.
The legislation, however, excludes traditional Indian rituals while outlawing Satanic ceremonies, Congresswoman Maria Chuca said.