Woman Burns Down Neighbourhood During Witch Ceremony

CENPublished: April 4, 2018
Published: April 4, 2018

A superstitious woman who prepared a candlelit ceremony so that her teenage daughter would break-up with an older man has accidentally burned down nine homes.

The blaze broke out in the Siete de Abril suburb of Barranquilla in the northern Colombian department of Atlantico.

Yajaira Martinez, who burned down her house along with eight others, said that it all started when she found out that her 15-year-old daughter was seeing an older man.

Martinez told local media: "I went to see a known witch and asked her to help with the situation. She gave me a special candle and told me to light it when I got home.

"I did not speak to my daughter. I went to her bedroom, placed the candle there and then went to sleep.

"The next thing I knew, I was waking up in hospital."

However, Martinez’s mother Miriam Rocio Solano told local media that her daughter came home drunk and started to argue with the teenager.

Solano said: "She set fire to the girl’s mattress without even thinking that it could burn down the neighbourhood. She ran outside and asked residents to help because one of her children was still inside. She was drunk and had to be carried to hospital."

This version of events was backed up by neighbour Candida Meneses.

Nobody was harmed during the blaze as one of Martinez’s children managed to warn neighbours before the fire spread to their homes.

However, many residents lost their possessions and had to spend the night in an emergency centre.

According to local media, Martinez was arrested and later freed. She will now have to reach a formal agreement with neighbours.

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