“It seems to have been related to today’s date,” Jorge Gomez, a human rights official in the town of Barrancabermeja, Santander Province, where the murders took place, told reporters.
Tuesday’s date was June 6, 2006, or 6-6-6, a set of numbers taken by some to be the mark of the devil.
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Police said that, plus the fact that there were six victims, raised their suspicion that there could be a ritualistic angle to the crime.
Three family members in the house at the time of the attack were being questioned by police and a suspect not related to the victims has been detained, authorities said.
“These are demonic things. The devil did this,” a neighbour of the family told local television.
For days Colombian media have been filled with stories about 6-6-6, and worries in this mostly Catholic country of 41 million people that the Antichrist could appear.