British died of hallucinogenic drinking in the Colombian tribal ritual

An investigation in Bristol heard that Henry Miller, 19, had spent the summer traveling through Colombia in 2014, shortly before he started college.

An investigation in Bristol heard that Henry Miller, 19, had spent the summer traveling through Colombia in 2014, shortly before he started college.

An investigation in Bristol heard that Henry Miller, 19, had spent the summer traveling through Colombia in 2014, shortly before he started college.

A British backpacker died in Colombia after drinking a hallucinogenic herb in an ancient tribal ritual before his son was thrown on the side of the road by the son of the shaman's panic.

An investigation in Bristol heard that Henry Miller, 19, of Kingsdown, Bristol, had spent the summer traveling through Colombia in 2014, shortly before he started college.

Described as a "curious young man" who was interested in Colombian culture, Enrique attended two separate tribal rituals during his stay in the country.

The ritual consisted of taking a hallucinogenic herb known as yage, or ayahuasca, and the young student had paid 50,000 pesos (£ 13) to participate in the ceremony.

But Henry's second experience with the herb ended in tragedy when he quickly fell ill and experienced breathing problems, according to his research.

He was taken to the hospital on the back of a motorcycle by the son of the shaman who ran the ceremony, he told himself.

But when the shaman's son realized halfway to the hospital that Henry had already died, he got scared. He left the body of the young man on the side of the road, to be discovered by the police.

HM colonel Maria Voisin recorded Henry's death on April 23, 2014, as accidental.

Henry attended two separate tribal rituals during his stay in the country. The ritual consisted of taking a hallucinogenic herb known as yage, or ayahuasca, and the young student had paid 50,000 pesos (£ 13) to participate in the ceremony.

Henry attended two separate tribal rituals during his stay in the country. The ritual consisted of taking a hallucinogenic herb known as yage, or ayahuasca, and the young student had paid 50,000 pesos (£ 13) to participate in the ceremony.

Henry attended two separate tribal rituals during his stay in the country. The ritual consisted of taking a hallucinogenic herb known as yage, or ayahuasca, and the young student had paid 50,000 pesos (£ 13) to participate in the ceremony.

She ruled that it was caused by the intoxication of yaje (ayahuasca) and a related drug known as scopolamine.

In a statement read in his research, Henry's father, David Miller, described how his son had worked at the University of Bristol and in a call center during his free year, to save money and travel to South America.

David described how Henry was very interested in South American culture, and had been learning Spanish before his trip.

Henry traveled to Bogotá, Colombia, on February 14, 2014, and had stayed at a shelter in southern Colombia, run by a retired Belgian police officer.

HM colonel Maria Voisin recorded Henry's death on April 23, 2014, as accidental.

HM colonel Maria Voisin recorded Henry's death on April 23, 2014, as accidental.

HM colonel Maria Voisin recorded Henry's death on April 23, 2014, as accidental.

David said that the last contact of the family with Henry was on Tuesday night, April 22, 2014, before leaving to attend the tribal ceremony that led to his death.

He said that Henry had told them that he had already attended a ceremony in the shaman's cabin two days before and had drunk three cups of yage, but he had not felt anything.

A traveling companion named Christopher Deardon, who was traveling with his ex-girlfriend Elena, met Henry on April 18 during his stay at the lodge, and the couple attended the two ceremonies with him.

Christopher described Henry as "a curious young man," and noted that the Colombian ceremonies were "clearly of interest" to him.

Christopher said in a statement: "Just before Elena and I left the shelter on April 18, Henry spoke to us for the first time.

& # 39; He asked me if we were going to the ceremony and if we were going to take the yage. It was clearly interesting to him, and he told us he would see us there if he decided to take part in the ceremony.

That night I could hear Henry arrive at the camp and try to talk to Mum Concha [the tribe’s liason].

"A fellow traveler named Ian came and translated to Henry that there would be no ceremony that night, but I heard Henry pay 50,000 pesos to participate in the next one."

Henry's brother, Freddie Miller (pictured left) and his father David Miller (second from right) and other family members come to his research

Henry's brother, Freddie Miller (pictured left) and his father David Miller (second from right) and other family members come to his research

Henry's brother, Freddie Miller (pictured left) and his father David Miller (second from right) and other family members come to his research

Christopher added that he, Elena and Henry participated in a ceremony the next day.

He said: "I was the first to vomit and hallucinate." I looked at Elena and Henry but they did not feel anything.

"We had another cup about an hour later, and then we spent some time talking, before we decided to go to the city to look for food and get to know each other."

Christopher described Henry as a "curious young man" with a "big heart" and said he was very nice.

Two nights later, Christopher said that Henry appeared once more on the site for the ceremony, which began around 10 pm and was attended by about 12 tourists.

Christopher said: "Before the ceremony began, Mama Concha invited Henry to take a small cup of herbs to facilitate his reaction to the yage.

& # 39; None of us knew what this was. Then we all drank our cups.

"I vomited after about 15 minutes, and when I got back, Henry seemed to be feeling the effects right away."

Elisabeth Miller, Henry's mother, appears portrayed in her research in Bristol

Elisabeth Miller, Henry's mother, appears portrayed in her research in Bristol

Elisabeth Miller, Henry's mother, appears portrayed in her research in Bristol

Christopher then described how Henry left to return to the shelter, but the next morning, police showed up at the camp, asking why they were there and if they had attended the ceremony the night before.

They then informed Christopher and Elena that a boy named Henry had been reported missing.

On July 13 of this year, the tribe that conducted the ceremony attended by Henry conducted an indigenous "trial" – or ritual healing – to investigate the death of Henry Miller.

Emily Brown, Forensic Liaison for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, attended the trial in Colombia.

In a statement, he reported that at the trial it was heard that Henry was given a single scopolamine leaf before the ceremony began.

The trial, conducted in the native indigenous language of Comensta, then heard that Henry felt bad, looked very pale and had trouble breathing.

The shaman Guillermo, in front of the ceremony, asked his son that he had not taken part in the ceremony that took Henry to the hospital since his breathing was very slow.

But the indigenous trial heard that the shaman's son became worried and panicked on the way to the hospital, for fear that Henry had already died.

In a statement, the shaman's son reported that "nerves beat him" and decided to leave Henry's body at the edge of the road, where he knew someone would find him and call the police.

The shaman's son later said he waited nearby until he heard the police arrive. He said he knew he had made a mistake in doing this, but that his nerves dominated him.

The indigenous trial concluded that the tribe never intended to harm Henry through his medicine, and that the purpose of his community was to welcome and share with foreigners.

The tribe has said that they will now create a code of ethics that will advise travelers on how to use the yage.

Yage is a psychedelic drink made of leaves and is used by native people in South America for healing and spiritual purposes.

It is also known to cause nausea, diarrhea and psychological distress.

At the end of the investigation, Colonel Maria Voisin described Henry as a "happy and healthy young man" who had been preparing to study English at the University of Brighton.

She recorded her death as accidental, with the medical cause of yage poisoning and scopolamine taken at a tribal ceremony.

The coroner said: "Henry Miller died on April 23, 2014, after being left dead on the side of the road on his way to the hospital as a result of fighting to breathe."

The coroner thanked Henry's family for attending the court and offered his condolences.

Ignatius Hughes QC, representing the Miller family, said the family wanted other travelers to know the dangers of participating in these tribal ceremonies.

"Any concern in general is that I should alert the court about their concern that other young travelers may benefit from becoming aware of the small but real dangers inherent in this perfectly legal practice," he said.

"We understand from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office that attention is being paid to a standard message for travelers when they visit the FCO website for that part of the world."

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