Peruvian shamans have made their predictions for the year 2024
Peruvian shamans have made their predictions for the year 2024. AFP

Tough times ahead for Argentina's new President Javier Milei, continued war in Gaza, and an Uruguay-Argentina 2024 Copa America final: Peru's shamans made their annual predictions Wednesday for the year ahead.

Gathered on a sacred hill in Lima, 14 shamans from around the Andean country scattered coca leaves and flower petals over posters of world leaders including Milei, Russia's Vladimir Putin, and US President Joe Biden in order to divine what the next 12 months hold.

In colorful, traditional outfits they prayed to the Pachamama Earth Mother goddess and Tayta Inti sun god, beat drums, chanted, blew smoke and drank a potent hallucinogenic brew to aid their divinations.

"We saw that President Milei will have a very complicated time in government," shaman Walter Alarcon told AFP.

"Milei started badly and will end badly. Not ruling with the people is bad and will end in crisis," added fellow diviner Felix Roldan.

Milei, who took office on December 10, has put forward a mega-degree of economic deregulation that has seen thousands take to the streets in protest.

Alarcon said the omens were not good for a speedy conclusion to war in Gaza, triggered by Hamas's deadly October 7 attacks on Israel that killed about 1,140 people, most of them civilians.

Israel retaliated with a relentless bombardment and siege of Gaza and launched a ground invasion. At least 21,110 people have been killed, according to Gaza's health ministry.

"The conflict will continue, but it will abate little by little. It will not end from one day to the next," said Alarcon, adding the shamans had prayed for peace in the region.

Turning to football, they said the next Copa America winner will be either reigning world champs Argentina, or neighbor Uruguay.

Last year, the shamans had predicted for 2023 that Russia's war in Ukraine would end.