full article and comments:
Animal-rights commando goes after Santeria sacrifices
Garcia-Roberts Thursday, Feb 3 2011
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
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
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."