A 30-year-old said he was buried alive after drinking alcohol with a friend and getting drunk during a traditional festival honoring Mother Earth in El Alto, Bolivia.
Victor Hugo Mica Alvarez managed to escape the coffin in which he was placed, in Achacachi, about 80 km away from the event site.
Authorities are investigating the possibility that the boy was the victim of a ritual. The case took place last Friday (5), according to the British newspaper Daily Mail.
“Last night was the pre-entry [da Villa Victoria], we went dancing, I’m a guide, and I don’t remember anymore. The only thing I remember is that I thought I was in my bed and got up to go to the bathroom, but I couldn’t move anymore. It was when I pushed the coffin, which had a glass, that it broke. The dirt started coming in through the glass, and then I managed to get out. They buried me,” the boy told the newspaper Página Siete, from La Paz, the Bolivian capital.
The Madre Tierra Festival features offerings to Pachamama, the goddess of earth and fertility in the culture of the indigenous peoples of the Central Andes. Indigenous Bolivians believe that the deity “opens his mouth” in August. Therefore, there are those who offer her anything from animals to sweets. There is a suspicion in the region that elders still offer humans in secret.
The young man stated that there was a structure set up at the place where he was buried. As soon as he escaped, he asked another boy for help, who took him to a police station. However, agents did not believe Álvarez’s version, who sought out the Bolivian newspaper to file a complaint and ask for help with the investigation.