'dead' man walks | 

Man who broke out of coffin after drinking binge claims he was human sacrifice

He admitted that he had been drinking heavily the night before at the opening of the Mother Earth festival

Victor Hugo Mica Alvarez

Neil FetherstonhaughSunday World

A man who says he woke up trapped in a coffin following a drinking binge in Bolivia has claimed he was being offered as a human sacrifice.

Víctor Hugo Mica Alvarez (30) managed to break out of the casket in the small, rural town of Achacachi which is located about 50 miles from where he passed out in the city of El Alto, Bolivia.

He admitted that he had been drinking heavily the night before at the opening of the Mother Earth festival that is staged every year by indigenous people.

As part of the rituals it is common for everything from live animals and sheep foetuses to sweets and coca leaves to be offered to the goddess, which local celebrants believe “opens her mouth” for offerings in August.

However, Victor claims he was among the human sacrifices some believe are still offered in ancient-style rituals to satisfy Mother Earth.

After his apparent escape he told local media, while still covered in mud and concrete: “Last night was the pre-entry [of the festival], and we went dancing. And afterwards I don’t remember.

“The only thing I remember is that I thought I was in my bed, I wanted to get up to go urinate and I couldn’t move.

“When I pushed the coffin, I was able to break a glass that it had and that way I was able to get out.

“When I pushed the coffin I barely broke the glass and, through the glass, dirt began to enter. They wanted to use me as a sullu.”

The term ‘sullu’ refers to the offerings commonly made to give back to Mother Earth during the festivities held throughout August in Bolivia.

While they often take the form of colourful sweets, desiccated llamas, medicinal plants, eggs, minerals, some suspect human sacrifices are still carried out.

However, Victor claims police refused to believe him when reported what had happen to him, saying he was too drunk to know why he ended up buried alive.

He explained “We had gone dancing… and I don’t remember anymore.

“I have broken out (of the coffin), my whole hand has been hurt, but when I went to the police and they told me that I am drunk.”

Travel writers have previously described how the “other worldy is everyday” in Bolivia.


Today's Headlines

More World Crime

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices