Young mom dies in pastor's fiery exorcism attempt

A story out of a remote mining town in Nicaragua whose details are still being confirmed now has a clear and tragic outcome: The mother of two young children is dead, having suffered burns across 80 percent of her body.

The Washington Post reports on the pieces being put together. It seems as though Vilma Trujillo Garcia, a 25-year-old woman, may have been suffering from a mental health crisis a couple weeks ago and possibly threatened people with a machete.

Afterward, a pastor arrived at her house and took her to his church to conduct a healing. He allegedly kept her in the church for a week, and tells police: "God has made me a revelation ... that a group of brothers should take the sick woman and tie her up near the fire ... so that the demon will leave the body of the sick and go into the fire."

And so it went. Nicaraguan police say the mother was stripped naked, bound, and thrown into the fire. Nine hours later, her teen sister found her in a ravine, and she was taken to a hospital in the capital city of Managua, where she died Tuesday.

Evangelical pastor Juan Gregorio Rocha Romero and four others have now been arrested, reports the AP. Rocha Romero counters that Trujillo Garcia "suspended herself and fell in" as the demon left her body; Jezebel picks up a Spanish-language interview with an advocate for the family who says the woman was battling "mental health problems."

Trujillo Garcia's husband says his wife wasn't demonized, and that "what they did to her was witchcraft."

Nicaraguan VP Rosario Murillo has called the death "a backward situation," while the Assemblies of God church has distanced itself from the pastor. 

Newser for USA Today


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