Seven people, including a pregnant woman and five of her children, were found in a mass grave after they were killed in a religious ritual in an indigenous area of Panama. The Telegraph reports that police freed 14 others following what authorities are calling an “exorcism,” in which members of an indigenous group were tortured, beaten, burned, and hacked with machetes after being rounded up by about 10 lay preachers demanding that they “repent their sins” in the Ngäbe-Buglé region in northwest Panama. Senior prosecutor Rafael Baloyes said authorities were alerted after three villagers escaped and went to a local hospital for treatment. “They were performing a ritual inside the structure,” Baloyes said. “In that ritual, there were people being held against their will, being mistreated. All of these rites were aimed at killing them, if they did not repent their sins.” Prosecutors announced Thursday that they would be trying the case, and that 10 people had been arrested on suspicion of murder.
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