A Nicaraguan woman has died after suffering from severe burn injuries during an exorcism ritual. The 25-year-old woman was allegedly stripped naked, tied up and thrown on to a burning pyre. She was found by relatives after many hours with severe burns.
According to officials, Vilma Trujillo Garcia, suffered burns to 80% of her body and died in a hospital in the capital city of Managua on Tuesday, (28 February). The incident has reportedly taken place in El Cortzal, situated near the impoverished Rosita municipality, 20 miles from the town of Bonanza.
Luis Moreno, the director of the hospital where Garcia was taken to, told a local radio station "We did all we could to save her. But the third-degree burns on 80-per cent of the body could not be healed."
Family members told local media that she was attacked by four people led by a man, who is said to be an evangelical pastor. Juan Gregorio Rocha Romero, the pastor, and the others were arrested, prosecutors said.
Romero denied burning the woman and said that evil spirits suspended the victim above the fire and dropped her.
The husband of the victim, Reynaldo Peralta Rodriguez said she was taken into a church last week when members thought she was possessed after she reportedly tried to attack people with a machete.
He was quoted by the Associated Press as saying: "It's unforgiveable what they did to us. They killed my wife, the mother of my two little ones. Now what am I going to tell them?"
A spokesperson for the Nicaraguan Human Rights Commission said: "It is incredible that these things can happen today, there has to be a review by the authorities into all the different denominations and religions. We can't have things like this happening."