Animal-rights commando goes after Santeria sacrifices

Richard "Kudo" Couto is the Bruce Wayne of animal rights. He's independently wealthy, has plenty of cool toys, is completely fearless and dedicated, and is about 98 percent bat-shit insane.

For at least a year, Couto, real-estate developer by day, donned a disguise, two guns, and a bulletproof vest for nightly motorcycle raids of a lawless area known as C-9 Basin — ground zero for illegal slaughterhouses and Miami-Dade County's horse meat black market. The evidence he compiled, along with a prodigious knack for self-publicity, spurned apathetic officials into finally dismantling the area last spring.

It's amazing what a few shocking photos and videos can do to rile up an animal-loving public.

So it's momentous that Couto is now targeting what he believes is just another example of animal "torture" in Miami: vodou sacrifices.

Couto estimates that Santería practitioners were planning to sacrifice "fifty percent" of the animals in the illegal slaughterhouses he investigated. He routinely found mutilated animal corpses in the area, he says: "Some of these animals had their eyes missing, their genitalia missing. Most people think that Santería sacrifices are mainly goats. They don't know that dogs are also tortured. With the Haitian population, the longer that the animal suffers, the quicker that the evil spirits will come forth."

Couto has published extremely graphic photos, which he says are evidence of a Santería black market, on his Website and 4,500-friend Facebook page. The pictures show a plastic bag he found containing a decapitated goat and, weirdly, sacrificed turtles; a slaughterhouse floor littered with thousands of goat horns; a puppy skin that he found near C-9 Basin; and a dying dog tied to a cross.

Couto hasn't stopped his commando-style raids; he's only switched target areas. He's currently stalking a puppy mill, he says, where he guesses "90 percent of the dogs and puppies" are going to be used for Santería sacrifices.

Couto already has his Facebook choir singing. One comment, under the headless-goat-and-turtles photo: "They should go back to where they were born, the dark side of the moon! Go back, assholes."

 
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38 comments
I.Rather.not.Tell
I.Rather.not.Tell

I believe in religious freedom and all but let me explain my situation. I live right next people who practice this religion and while I don't care about their religion, I am fed up with hearing the animals squeal in pain! I am DISTURBED that an animal is hurting and that they think this is 'right.' I am nobody to define right and wrong but if you heard a child squeal in pain you couldn't stand it and thats how i feel about these defenseless animals. I don't want laws to stop them from performing their religion but I want laws that stop them from doing it next door to me! It so disturbing for those of us who are not from that religion and nobody is taking us into account. Can they just respect those of us who do not practice that religion. HELP! :( 

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Carolann
Carolann

Sacrificing animals for "religious purposes" is vile. Do you really believe that pleases God or Osha, Oshum ... whatever you are praying to? Our borders are open and you are welcome to leave at anytime. It is disturbing that there is a "Santeria Community" in my hometown... any group that acually believes sleeping with a white calf's head can bring you back from the point of death should not even talk about an "academic level" of anything...

Oshundayo
Oshundayo

I have to laugh everytime I read this type of sensationalized reporting. Reporting that is not only done on an irresponsible level, but an uninformed level at all. It appears that zero to little investigation has been made to any of these allegations by the reporter.

Now how would Mr Cuoto be able to estimate that 50% of the animals used in the illegal slaughter houses would be used for Santeria animal sacrifices? What were his methods of determining this?

As far as mutilated animal corpses in the area, how can this be linked to Santeria? How was it determined that these animals with the missing eyes and genetalia were used in Santeria rituals? How familiar is Mr Cuoto with ritual animal offerings in Santeria?

Dogs or puppies are NOT used in Santeria ceremonies!

How did Mr Couto come up with the conclusion that 90% of the puppies and dogs from the puppy mill were going to be used in ritual animal offerings in Santeria?

What of his Facebook choir of tree hugging, animal lovers? They have been misinformed by Mr Cuoto as well and what appears to be aimlessly marching to his tune.

This is irresponsible reporting by Mr Gus Garcia-Roberts to say the least. Little or no research has gone into the allegations made by Mr Cuoto in this article.

This is a personal attack on the Santeria community and all other African diasporic religions by Mr Couto and the reporter for this article.

This article is full of nothing but misinformation and sensationalism to the readers who are uneducated about these types of religious traditions. It supports Mr Couto's personal agenda and is a continual propagation of his attacks on the Santeria community.

This type of Apallachian, hillbilly style of reporting should end. We demand fair and balanced reporting on an academic level.

Matthew OOshun DayoOlorisha Lukumi

Jeanette
Jeanette

OK. Two things that are difficult to discuss - politics and religion. I do it all the time anyway because these things are important in my life and in our culture. Please allow me to express my thoughts on religion. They're complicated. I am a Roman Catholic but I have a tenuous relationship with the Church. For instance, I'm pro-life but believe in an individual woman's right to choose. I am in favor of stem-cell research. My nephew is a paraplegic so I have a very personal and heartbreaking knowledge of what stem-cell research could do for people with Muscular Dystrophy. I believe in God, but I don't understand Him. I believe in Jesus. I ask for his help every single day. I believe in all the Saints including my own patron saints. I was married in the Catholic Church. But, because at that time the Church was much less accepting of people of other religions, I was also married in a second ceremony at the Unitarian Universalist Church so that my non-Catholic friends could participate and celebrate with us. My son was baptized Roman Catholic. But I had to search for months for a priest to perform the sacrament to include his Jewish godparents.

I have a long history of acceptance of other people's beliefs, religions and dogma. Frankly, I don't think God gives a hoot as to who or how or even if we worship. I think judgement will be about who has led a good, kind, honest, moral life. I think the Ten Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount are all we need. And, I believe we are all God's creatures and that includes all the animals that He created. I think animal abuse/animal torture is an abomination in the sight of God. I do not think that God would look kindly on those who abuse any of his creatures. In my own religion, Jesus set the example at the Last Supper when he consecrated wine and bread to represent his own blood and body. That is our ritualistic sacrifice when we eat and drink consecrated wine and bread to represent the body and blood of Christ. In my religion, Jesus is called the "Lamb of God who taketh away the sins of the world." Remember, Jesus was born in a stable surrounded by the animals who gave him warmth. Yes, I think Jesus loved all God's creatures and the New Testament makes that very clear. One year during the Blessing of the Animals, I asked the priest if he thought animals had souls and would be there in Heaven when (and if) I got there. He just looked me straight in the eye and said, "Of course."

That said, if your religion dictates that you must perform live animal sacrifice, although it would not be a religious practice that I could ever in any way embrace for myself, I would assume that your sacrifice must be pure in order for it to be pleasing to the deity. That would include that the animal be raised in good, clean and humane conditions. That the slaughter itself be humane and death instantaneous.

Now in the interest of full disclosure I must tell you that I have personally known Richard Couto for years. I have personally visited the C-9 basin and saw with my own eyes what goes on there. I have personally visited other slaughter farms and seen, with my own eyes, the conditions and circumstances of the animals. I have personally rescued goats and sheep in Coral Gables, on the campus of Barry University, and elsewhere that were escaped Santeria animals. They were starving, filthy and terrified. This is not to even mention what goes on in the hidden rural areas of our community. I assure you, Jesus would not be pleased. As I said, I have seen this with my own eyes and it isn't even necessary to "trespass" as these abattoirs were open to the public, many still are. As it turns out, these slaughter farms are themselves illegal and the slaughterers illegal squatters. The fences themselves were and are illegal. The byproducts of their slaughters (blood, feces, urine and offal) are seeping So, I ask you. Is it trespassing if the residents are not owners or even renters but themselves trespassing squatters and if the fencing is itself illegal and shouldn't be there? But what if "trespass" is necessary? If there was a "fence" and an animal or child was being abused, what do you think Jesus would do? I think he'd "trespass" to put a stop to it. I know I would.

I've read many accusations and speculations here about Richard Couto. About tax liens, his getting "wealthy" because of his work, etc. None of this is factual or true. Here is the truth - Richard Couto has made tremendous financial sacrifices. He has taken great personal risks to his health, welfare and life to pursue his passion. Richard Couto is a man who sees wrong and tries to right it. I think that is pleasing to God. I'll go so far as to say I think Richard Couto is doing God's work and I bless him for it.

I do not know how many Santeria practitioners or Voodoo practitioners there are in our community. But I would beg you who do practice ritual sacrifice to make sure that everyone in your community is practicing your religion in a humane and proper way. Weed out those in your own community who practice inhumane, cruel methods.

Ochani Lele
Ochani Lele

Listen to Gus Garcia-Roberts trying to talk his way out of his bad, offensive reporting. The podcast is here:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/t...

He was speechless and couldn't think of a THING to say. Miami New Times publishers . . . y'all need to listen to this, and consider two things:

1. Getting rid of that reporter, he makes you look bad;2. Printing a retraction and aplogy to Lucumi priests, because this was just plain defamatory.

Ochani Lele

Tracy
Tracy

After reading this article several times I remain ashamed. Ashamed of humans. And maybe not for the reason you are now assuming.

Maybe a little perspective?

Professionally I come from 15 years working as an Executive Assistant and Business Analyst. I have worked extensively in the marketing and publicity fields as well. Most recently however I have owned my own business(s). Prior to Hurricane Katrina my husband, myself and a business partner owner a walking tour company in New Orleans. Though we had grown a good following in a short time, we were young and did not have the bankroll to keep us above 'water' post Katrina. I now own a web & graphic design business.

In addition to this my husband and I have been animal cruelty officers for both the SPCA and the Humane Society of America. We also ran our own exotic animal rescue and have rescued animals from some of the most horrific situations. We also volunteer for the Audubon Zoo and are members of several animal rights organizations for both domestic and wild animals and run a local group for owners of Dachshunds to get together monthly and socialize. By and large you can say that not only are we animal lovers but we are very active animal advocates.

Having said all of that I am not a barbarian. I am, in fact born and raised in the US being of European heritage; Pennsylvania German to be exact. I am a meat eater. We are, as humans, omnivores after all (ask your dentist about what the shape of your teeth mean about our species). I come from a long line of farming folk. As farmers my family planted fields; corn, wheat, alfalfa etc. They also raised and butchered farm animals. Not for mass production. They butchered for family and they butcherde for hire, usually other local farmers and their families. The method used to kill the animal was always done in the quickest, and least painful manner as possible. Not unlike the animals used in Afro-Caribbean religious rituals who are killed in much the same manner and are used as food in much the same way as well. The only difference? In Lukumi (Santeria to most outside the faith) and Voudou the animals are given special honor for the life they are going to give up. How do I know? I am an Aborisha in Lukumi. I have also participated in several Voudou fetes and rituals.

One last thing I would like to point out, a fact that many have missed. Couto and the author of this article, while not stating it outright, make statements that suggest that sacrifice happens daily in the homes of the Lukumi faithful. Sacrifice is, in fact, a rare occurrence which happens only for the most special of occasions and is only done by a select few practitioners who have received the special training necessary to carry out the task properly. That means both to kill the animal swiftly and as painlessly as possible but also to follow religious tradition. And as many have said, these animals are used as our FOOD after the service.

The author of this article is being irresponsible in riling up the masses alongside Couto. The violent threats coming from Couto's hate speech is nothing short of frightening and should be for ALL faithful individuals regardless of their faith.

As I stated at the beginning of this comment; I am ashamed. Ashamed of humans. Humans who would spew forth such loathsome filth as many of Couto's followers who continually call for horribly violent acts against all faithful people without judge jury or trial; based on the nonsensical ramblings of a self proclaimed, lawless, vigilantly who incites riotous behavior based on nothing more than his word and some images of animals who could very well have been placed in these places BY HIM! (BTW isn't inciting riotous behavior considered acts of terrorism under the Patriot Act?)

“First they came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew, so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Wiccans and the Muslims, but I was neither, so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Santerian's/Voudouisant's, but I was not a Santerian/Voudouisant so I did not speak out. And when they came for me, there was no one left to speak out for me." adapted from the Martin Niemoeller original

Ochani Lele
Ochani Lele

Yes, we forget about his tax issues. Good people do have issues with taxes from time-to-time; however, if I am not mistaken his sensationalistic attacks on Santeria and other ATR's coincide with his fundraising efforts, and all this coincides with the IRS tax lein place against all his properties.

Now that I'm piecing all the time lines together, I most certainly DO think all this is part of a ploy to get his taxes paid and save himself.

Miami New Times -- you need to do some REAL journalism and look into his nonprofit organization. I bet his books don't match up. I have a theory that he is using all this to raise money and funnel it away from his nonprofit and into his tax problems with the IRS.

Now there's a story!

Ochani LeleakaStuart Myers

cultural anthropologist
cultural anthropologist

Mr. Couto and this newspaper have continually disparaged a community they have no knowledge of, nor do they wish to. This latest piece of “journalism” is more of a fan letter. A fan letter to a man who has not given any proof that the animals he found can be traced to the sacrificial practices of any religion of the Diaspora. Mr. Couto views these religions as homogenous, which they are not. I have been to Mr. Couto’s personal facebook page and his “fan page”; both reflect his ignorance of these religions. He has no desire to educate himself. Instead he posts pictures and videos along with incoherent postings that do nothing but get people riled up. Mr. Couto and his followers are prepared to use violence against a community that has not committed these atrocious acts. The Diaspora communities are shocked and saddened that they are being linked to dead horses, and the other dead animals Mr. Couto finds along the road. When animals are killed it is called a “ritual sacrifice, ritual being the key term. The animals are killed in a specific manner. The animals left have no tell tale signs that would signify their death by one of these rituals. Mr. Couto doesn’t care that he comes off as an uneducated, violent, xenophobe that is inciting violence. He is getting a lot of attention, most of it from women, and money. I am sure the female attention is nice, but he needs the money more. You see, Mr. Couto owes the IRS over $30, 000 dollars. He currently has a tax lien against him. So to all those people who are sending him money, they need to ask themselves, if it really is going to help animals or Mr. Couto. Perhaps that could be your next story Mr. Garcia-Roberts.

Giancarlo
Giancarlo

So you are tell the public that this man is armed and trespassing on private property. I work for a FFL and the porperty would be in his rights to defend him self if he finds him on his property. And like the man said before me you most not be to smart to glorify a person who is breaking the law. I'm guess you would also glorify a person robbed a bank too.

Dia Nunez aka Yemaya Adebiti
Dia Nunez aka Yemaya Adebiti

What I find very interesting about your article Mr. Roberts is that YOU are glorifying a felon who is breaking the law to "give" justice to these animals that he claims we are torturing. What is that about? As a reporter, you potentially are a conspirator to this unstable, extremist individual, thus nurturing his lawlessness behavior. Why are you not reporting this to the proper authorities? If something was to happen such as a hate crime you would also be held responsible because you clearly know he is lawless in nature and are not taking the proper action against his criminal activity.Black market? What our community does religiously is not apart of the black market, it is protected by the constitution, have you read it lately? In addition, when you state "the black market" what are you referring too? Perhaps the fact that there are tons of illegal slaughter houses in the state of Florida? What does that have to do with what we do?! Why are you mixing apples with oranges ( I think you need to attack the individuals that you give your tax dollars too, and are stupid enough to vote for time, and time again with no change to the system).

It is apparent that neither you or Mr. Kudo know how to research the tradition you are attacking (ie. Voudou, and Santeria are two different traditions, and we don't sacrifice dogs).

My question too you both: Have you ever seen, and or researched the American process of packaged meat that goes to the supermarket; that one never questions how it arrived there? Talk about cruelty.... now that's an understatement!

Ochani Lele
Ochani Lele

I am a santero living in the Orlando area. I am also a law-abiding citizen. As I read this article again and again I can’t help but fall back on this passage, “For at least a year, Couto, real-estate developer by day, donned a disguise, two guns, and a bulletproof vest for nightly motorcycle raids . . .” I’ve seen the videos of him wearing his face-obscuring gear. I’m not sure about Miami, but I do know in Orlando it is illegal to obscure the face with a mask when out and about in public.

Also, even with a concealed weapons permit it is illegal to open carry guns in public. I’ve seen pictures of this man’s uniform, and his gun holsters are open carried. Also, by his own admission in his videos he has trespassed again and again to obtain his “evidence” (and I use that term loosely). In a video in which he claimed the bagged animals were the remnants of a Santeria sacrifice, all the animals had heads. The guinea hens, turtles, and goat were most obvious, and they had their heads. Heads have to be removed, especially on those animals, for the blood to flow. Honestly, I think those animals were planted evidence. WHO killed and planted those is up to debate and question.

This man is a terrorist breaking federal laws and using guerilla tactics. I, as a concerned United States citizen, call for the arrest of Mr. Couto for his blatant disregard for the law and his continual breaking of it. He is an open-gun-touting time-bomb ticking and waiting to explode. He needs to be put in jail, not on the pages of the Miami Times.

Stuart MyersAkaÓcháni Lele

Bibi121
Bibi121

This is an example of Religous Intolerance and Ignorance.If this man had any understanding of Santeria his alleged findings would not be tied to a viable Spiritual Religous Tradition.The fact that he could even gain a following only shows how narrow minded and easily manipulated ppl are. apparently its much easier to be part of a gang than it is to have a mind of your own. Get the facts.

Jesus_Feces_USA
Jesus_Feces_USA

Murdering animals for religious fairy tale sh. it ?That's what your fake gods ask you ?That's as lame as Christianity Cthulhu will LIQUIFY your fake Christian and fake Santeria gods.

Honey
Honey

Hey Asshole! COUTO!!!! Santeria has nothing to do with VOUDOU!!! And the animals that are sacrificed are later eaten in the ceremony! Do some homework and then talk your shit! Maferefun Obatala, Maferefun Elegua, Maferefun Ochun, Maferefun Chango, Maferefun Oya, Maferefun Yemeya, maferefun, Maferefun, Maferefun!!!

Ingrid
Ingrid

Too bad there isn't a Santerian church that will sue him for slander. As a developer he has destroyed homes that belong to animals many times over. He without sin....

Alfoquendo
Alfoquendo

Don't confused religions,vodou has nothing to do whit santeria,vodou is the dark side of any religion,santeria is the oldes religion and they do sacrificed certains animals but only animals tha they after the seremony will eat,they dont kill no dogs or any other kind of animals,I sudguest you get more information on our African religions,before you go confusing people,cus santeria before they do anything they invoque Jesus as our saivor and only thru God.Ignorants!

Jeanette
Jeanette

These are not "religions." They are abominable practices. Santeria, voodoo ... they are the antithesis of religion. The Supremes got it wrong....again.

Marieugene
Marieugene

Bravo! Many "Richard Couto" are needed in this world, to make this place a tiny better.We need to take action against animal slaughter and abuse, it is unacceptable that ignorants and brainless individuals commit these crimes against defenseless animals. This miserable and stupid human action should be severly punished. People " How about you getting your testicles removed? How about if your children are decapitated? It hurts right? make sense ignorants, respect life. Animal killers are easily people killers....

OshunDayo
OshunDayo

Greetings Carolann,I respectfully ask this:Sleeping with a white calf's head to bring you back from the point of death? Can you please educate me? I'm a practicing priest in this religion and I have never heard of this practice.I won't go over the science of our religion, or why we do what we do as far as animal offerings to Orisha for religious purposes. Apparently with what you posted, you have already made up your mind on what you feel is right or wrong. Therefore, it would be a waste of time to give any explanation as to these things to you.Carolann, the truth of the matter is these practices are foreign to Western culture. Your typical WASP is going to immediately dismiss our practices as acts of an evil nature. I'm sure they may seem as primitive, vile practices to the outsider. Especially to the Christian population.I don't believe anyone can accept everyone's beliefs completely. But if we are going to report about peoples beliefs, then it should be done so on a fair, researched and unbiased fashion. I could care less if people accept my practices.

Oshundayo
Oshundayo

Oh yeah, and thow his sorry ass in jail for being a law-breaking citizen!

cultural anthropologist
cultural anthropologist

Jeanette,

Your post was long and full of illogic. I do not think I have ever read such tripe. Those animals you have "rescued"- HOW DO YOU KNOW THEY WERE ASSOCIATED WITH SANTERIA??? You don't. You would benefit from educating yourself, and developing critical thinking skills. There is no evidence to trace any of the animals found to any religion of the Diaspora. Any one can call themselves a Santero, or follower of any religion on earth. That does not mean that the religion accepts them or that they are active in that community. Anyone can go to a botanica and buy some beads and call themselves a Santero. That does not make it true. I could put on a tutu and call myself the SugarPlum fairy, but Miami City Ballet is not going to let me dance on stage.

As for the animals, last weekend I attended a tambour. While there I saw the enclosures where the animals were held. The only animals the individual had at that time were chickens. They were beautiful chickens, fat with beautiful plumage. How do I know, how to tell if an animal is healthy. I worked as a Vet tech for many years, specializing in avian medicine, I also worked as a bird trainer. The bird training job did not work out for me when I realized that they starve the animals to get them to perform. Talk about animal abuse. I saw parrots gorge on water until their crops were full to make themselves feel full, I saw hornbills eat astroturf due to hunger. I reported it, but humans enjoy being entertained by starving animals. I have 3 parrots at home- a blind amazon he is over 20 years old he developed pox upon entry to the US many years ago, a one footed parrot- who is 15 years old, and a conure that a bird breeder was going to euthanize him because his feet went straight out instead of down, he has been with me for over 18 years not to mention the 4 cats, 2 dogs and bearded dragon. Oh yes, and I spent many summer vacations on my cousins farm. I have helped neuter pigs, feed horses and many other fun animal jobs.

Back to the tambour. I also saw children playing and enjoying the chickens. I could not help but think of what would happen when Mr. Couto finally loses it and goes on a violent shooting spree. Will it be at a tambour with children as the casualties.The thought of that makes me cry. Not much can make an, old, mean, crazy cat lady like me cry, but the thought of innocent children dying does. Will you still support Mr. Couto then Jeannette?? Is that what your Jesus would do???

The Santeria community (I am not as familiar with the other communities of the Diaspora) polices its community. Santeria is much more complex than most individuals realize. Your Roman Catholic Church (of which I used to be a member of) has had its own troubles, has it not?? With pedophile priests moved from community to community, abusing children along the way. How does your Jesus feel about that??? Is your religious organization perfect Jeanette??? I remember that Jesus said something about "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone... (John 8:7). What would Jesus think about your stone throwing????

Mr. Couto is a bored, rich, man-boy who has found a new "hobby". In this hobby, unlike his others, he wears a "cool costume" and gets to carry weapons. Women fall all over him, he gets national attention and people send him money. He posts pictures of animals dead on the side of the road, like cats and dogs and erroneously call them "Santeria Sacrifices". I see dogs and cats dead on the side of the road quite a bit. It is sad, but sometimes they get out or are strays. Then the buzzards eat them. Wow-do you think that is where some of their body parts go???? Nobody has thought of that? Buzzards have strong mandibles and are adapted to tear a carcass apart.Eventually, Mr. Couto will kill or harm someone and while their family grieves, all of you will celebrate. What will your "Jesus" think of that?? Occasionally God speaks to me (or someone does, I have no other explanation for the voices in my head) and this evening she told me that Mr. Couto is unpredictable and has the potential for violence. She does not think he is a good person. Oh and she also said that he needs to pay his taxes.

Ochani Lele
Ochani Lele

Being on private property without a warrant is, to my knowledge, trespassing. Open carrying guns in Florida is a felony. Representing yourself as a law enforcement official is also a felony. Private Lucumi rituals involving animal sacrifice are never open to the public.

The Lucumi/Santeria religion has already fought the battle of animal sacrifice up to the United States Supreme Court and won. It is legal for us to do what we do. There is no animal abuse involved. Anthropologists have studied us. Police continually raided us. SPCA and animal rights workers have historically abused us. Writers have written books about us. Lawyers have argued for and against us, and the highest court in this country ruled in our favor. If there was truth to your allegations, or ARM's allegations, regarding how horrible are practices are, we would not have won the case. It's that simple.

While your letter is impassioned your logic is flawed. There simply is no more ground to be covered on what we do. You, Kouto, and people like you just need to do some reading and study and go back through the volumes and volumes of books and papers already written about us. My heart goes out to those horses and other animals that have been abused. But your friend, Kouto, is now attacking a religious group whose right to practice religion unhindered by unfair laws has already been established. His tactics are guerilla, and he has some of us worried and afraid. The way he goes about his work is illegal, and he's not being restrained. And I know, no, I FEEL it based on the history, that it's only a matter of time before him or someone moved by his hate speech towards us causes one of US to get hurt.

He need to be reigned in. In my opinion, that means arrest and jail time for the crimes he has already committed. We won't stop spreading the word about his tactics until he is pulled off the streets. None of us wants to die because one loose cannon like him has encouraged others to violence with his words.

Ochani LeleakaStuart Myers

Ochani Lele
Ochani Lele

Dear Tracy:

I'm not sure if I know you but I want to thank not only you for writing this wonderful post, but also your godparents for teaching you so well. This was beautiful, simply beautiful, and I think you made this point for all of us eloquently.

You have the soul of a poet and a heart of gold.

Thank you for this:Ochani LeleakaStuart Myers

Olga_irene_ace
Olga_irene_ace

THANK YOU!!!! SOMEONE FINALLY DISCOVERED COUTO'S REAL MOTIVES!!! He's playing a dangerous blame game on the wrong people. He's drawing negative attention to our faith and he is preading lies to the media. I went on his facebook page and he is selling ARM t-shirts to all his bigot followers. I saw his IRS Lien bill and that thing is huge!!!!! Did anyone else notice that Kudo LIVES IN MIAMI BEACH!!!! Come on this guy is money hungry, he doesn't give a crap about animal rights, HE LIES!

ayeayeaya
ayeayeaya

@Ochani Lele  I love you Suart


Jesus_Feces_USA
Jesus_Feces_USA

What is that gibberish at the end ? Some kind of silly curse? You do realize those are just words, right ? Cthulhu > Saneteria god.

Oshundayo
Oshundayo

Alf Oquendo,

Vodou is not a dark religion. Now you are an uninformed informing the uninformed.

Second, in Santeria we do NOT invoke Jesus as our savior.

That is ignorance.

Matthew OOshun DayoOlorisha Lukumi

Houngan Liam
Houngan Liam

Vodou is most certainly not the dark side of any religion. Vodou finds it's home in Benin, African, just as Santeria Lukumi finds it's home in the Yoruba nations. What is now Haitian Vodou is the amalgamation of the various African nations that travelled to the island which is now Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

The bigotry of this man and his followers is a matter for the entire Diaspora. He will treat us all the same way. He can not see the religious rights that each of us have to celebrate our religion, nor can he see how this kind of sacrifice can feed a community and in a much more humane way than what is done by most slaughter houses around the world. Let us all, Santeria/Lukumi, Vodou, Candomble, Palo, Umbanda and all other religious members of the Daspora join together against this kind of bigotry, and not fall into the trap of laying blame at each others feet.

Cj
Cj

I suggest you learn how to spell; perhaps a lesson in grammar would also be of help to you.....

carlos
carlos

ahhh yeah, every religion at some point has done sacrifices. Maybe you need to brush up on on theology to understand the origin faith.

Heaten
Heaten

Are they abominations due to the animal sacrifices? Just curios because in Christianity they used to practice animal sacrifice as well...

Honey
Honey

Do you eat meat? Do you eat Fish?

ETH28
ETH28

OshunDayo-I'm conducting research on Santeria for my university-level class, and I would really like to talk to you about your experience as a priest. Would you be willing to speak with me?

Thank you!ETH

Ochani Lele
Ochani Lele

PS: Horses have nothing to do with our religion. Nor do cats ands dogs. Really -- Couto is spreading some horse(crap) to get you guys all riled up about us. You need to calm down and do some reading, some really good academic reading (of legal briefs and anthropological works) before you let him get you all riled up. He's using you and people like you to push an agenda with our religion that has no basis in ANY of his made-up allegations. And while he has you riled up, he has you looking away from the fact that he's a vigilante. Truly.

Ochani Lele

Olga_irene_ace
Olga_irene_ace

you're an idiot... go back to playing video games or whatever it is that you do. Go waste away.

ayeayeaya
ayeayeaya

@Houngan Liam  Liam, it's too bad you're such a fake and a liar because you have actual potential in both these traditions. But you wanted to take shortcuts and make claims in order to lift yourself up higher than you are willing to dedicate yourself to actually achieve on your own merit by DOING the work the proper way.

I've seen the articles about you floating around and ripoff report, well, thats another subject. Why would you tell people you were initiated in 2004 and then change your website to say you were initiated as a baby (then stating you got cuchillo in 2004 instead). 


Do things right, confess your lies and maybe the members of these communities might still have some respect for you doing things as you should rather than trying to gain fame and validation of your priesthood by claiming you have things which you do not.


I would not be surprised if the Orishas punish you for your lies if you do not make them known and run to them asking for forgiveness.

 

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