Two men have died after consuming the drug ayahuasca in a massive “purification” ceremony in the north of Colombia, local authorities said Monday.
According to prosecutors who talked to media, the two victims were part of a group of at least 80 who had gathered at a farm close to the city of Bucaramanga Sunday to consume the drug.
The victims passed out shortly after consuming the drug, but weren’t taken to a hospital until hours later. According to Caracol Radio, family members of the victims thought the two men were in trance, but doctors established the men had died.
Half of the people attending the ceremony where from a small town in the north of Colombia and had come to the farm to be cured them of illnesses and get rid of bad spirits as promised by the organizer of the event, who had introduced himself as an indigenous shaman.
Judicial authorities have begun a search for the self-proclaimed shaman who disappeared after the deadly incident.
The psychoactive Ayahuasca, also called yagé in Colombia, is used by by several Amazon indigenous peoples to purge the body and mind.