A Mexican mother has been arrested on suspicion of gouging out the eyes of her 5-year-old son during a religious ceremony.

Police said that they had arrested seven people, including the boy’s parents, after his eyeballs were pulled out during the ritual in Nezahualcoyotl, a working-class neighborhood on the eastern flank of Mexico City.

“There was some kind of ceremony inside a house,” said Laura Uribe, a spokeswoman for state prosecutors in the State of Mexico, a populous region that borders much of the capital.

She did not give details of what the ritual involved.

The mother is believed to have removed the eyes with her bare hands because the boy refused to close them during the ceremony, police told a news conference.

Officers found the mutilated boy in the house on Thursday morning, before rushing him to a hospital in Mexico City for treatment.

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