Updated: 01/03/17 : 07:03:18
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World :: Young Nicaraguan woman burned to death in exorcism ritual

A young woman in an isolated part of Nicaragua has died a week after being tied up and allegedly thrown on a fire in an exorcism ritual.

Family members told local media that Vilma Trujillo had been attacked by four people led by a man who said he was an evangelical pastor.

Juan Rocha denied burning Mrs Trujillo, saying evil spirits had suspended her above the fire and then dropped her.

The woman, 25, was found by relatives hours later with severe burns.

The police have arrested Mr Rocha and a number of other people allegedly involved in the attack.

The victim's husband, Reynaldo Peralta Rodriguez, said the mother-of-two was taken inside a church last week when members thought she was possessed after allegedly trying to attack people with a machete, the Associated Press reports.

"It's unforgiveable what they did to us," he was quoted as saying.

"They killed my wife, the mother of my two little ones. Now what am I going to tell them?"

Pablo Cuevas, a spokesman for Nicaragua's Human Rights Commission, called on the government for firmer control over religious sects in the country.

"It is incredible that these things can happen today, there has to be a review by the authorities into all the different denominations and religions," he said. "We can't have things like this happening."

Women's Rights groups said the case was an example of fanaticism and misogyny.

Juanita Jimenez of the Autonomous Women's Movement (MAM) told local media that it was also the product of a lack of state presence in isolated parts of the country and an act of barbarity.

"Apart from the religious aspect, nothing justifies an act that is as cruel as burning a woman, putting her on a fire with the help of other people who you have used religion to manipulate," the activist said.