Trump or Biden? Peruvian shamans try to predict U.S. election winner

LIMA (Reuters) - With incense smoke, flowers and photos of President Donald Trump and Democratic rival Joe Biden, Peruvian shamans performed an ancestral ritual on Wednesday for the U.S. elections, but there was little agreement about who would win the Nov. 3 ballot.

Chanting and blowing a traditional Andean shell instrument, the shamans, dressed in multicolored garb, invoked the "Pachamama", or mother earth, for the U.S. vote to take place in peace, without attacks or any witchcraft between the rivals.

Shaman teacher Ana María Simeón, during the ritual held in a low-lit room of an old building in downtown Lima, said she was in favor of Biden.

"That is why we are cleansing him (...) we have seen that they are attacking him with witchcraft, with a black doll, with a voodoo doll they are shadowing to remove him," said the shaman with necklaces wrapped around her neck.

During the ritual, the shamans, dressed in Andean ponchos and cloaks, rubbed medicinal plants, fruits and even a live snake on photos of Democratic candidate Biden and Republican Trump.

According to a Reuters/Ipsos poll on Wednesday, Biden leads Trump nationally among likely U.S. voters by 9 percentage points, with 50% of likely voters planning to cast ballots for Biden while 41% were doing the same for Trump.

"Good energies to Mr. Donald Trump," said the master shaman Pablo Torres, carrying the snake on one of his shoulders after squirting a strange liquid from his mouth onto the image of Trump.

"Why? Because he is deserving, he needs good energies, good vibes from his followers," he said. "We are supporters of the gentleman. He will win; he is a winner."

(Reporting by Reuters TV; Writing by Marco Aquino; Editing by Adam Jourdan and Lisa Shumaker)

09/16/2020 20:26

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