A man woke up inside a coffin after collapsing during a festival in the city of El Alto, Bolivia. Victor Hugo Mica Alvarez, 30, woke up 50 km from the party and had to fight to free himself after being buried alive.
It all happened during the celebrations of Pachamama Day, celebrated in August in some Latin American countries, to give thanks and reverence to “Mother Earth”. Alvarez claims he was drinking with a friend when he “blacked out”. When he woke up, he no longer remembered anything.
To the Bolivian newspaper Pagina Siete, the man said he believed he was used as an “offering” to nature by other guests at the party, which took place on Saturday (6).
“Last night was a ‘warm up’ for the festival, and we went dancing. Everything that happened afterwards, I don’t remember,” he told local media over the weekend. “The only thing I remember is that I woke up, thought I was in my bed and wanted to get up to pee, but I couldn’t move,” he details.
It was then that Alvarez realized he was inside a coffin. Luckily, the boy managed to break a film of glass that was within reach of his hands, on the top of the structure, giving access to the opening.
“They wanted to use me as a sullu,” he theorized, referencing the name typically used for offerings to Mother Earth, made in the form of retribution. Common in Bolivia, they are usually made from coca leaves or colorful candies — not human beings, a practice abandoned hundreds of years ago, according to Pagina Siete.
After breaking free, the boy managed to ask for help from a driver who was passing by the surroundings of where he was buried, who took him to the police station.
Despite his conviction that he was the victim of a ritual, Alvarez faced difficulties trying to take the case to the police, with Bolivian authorities refusing to register the incident, saying he was “too drunk” to know what happened. Dissatisfied with the situation, he began to publicize the case among the local press.
In photos taken the morning after the party, the man appears with blood on his forehead and white powder covering his clothes. Despite the statements, the Bolivian police did not take a position on the case for the local press.