AyaPuma Samay fund : liberate Nicolas Bernal

This campain is done with assistance of members of our Asociacion Fuoco Sacro in Italy and it’s president Dario Giuffrida, whose name you see as beneficiary of the funds and Asociation    AyaPuma Samay in Ecuador. All funds will be withdrawn with supervision of mentioned asociation to account of family member of Nicolas Bernal in USA, his cousin Fabio Leonardo Penaloza, and used exclusively to pay for his legal defence expenses in Ecuador.


AyaPuma Samay association in Ecuador is happy to announce that on 26th of April, after 21 day of detention Nicolas Bernal was finally liberated. We are extremely thankful for your support and your help, for making this case visible to worldwide communities.

Nicolás Bernal, a young healer of Colombian-Canadian origin, regained his freedom on Friday, April 26, 2019. Bernal was arrested on April 5 at the Mariscal Sucre airport, when he was transporting a plant known as San Pedro, whose scientific name is Echinopsis Pachanoi. The plant is not listed in the drug tables, more then that further independent exams of the plant indicated that plant has less then 1% of mescaline "therefore, it is not possible to establish scales or apply Article 220 of the Organic Comprehensive Criminal Code. Carrying mescaline becomes an atypical act, ". The relatives of the young person indicated that he is a member of the Native American Church Teokali Quetzalcoatl, located in the USA and has permission and the right to transport ancestral medicine. "He is a medicine man, who was transporting dehydrated San Pedro, because the European association Fuoco Sacro, based in Italy, invited him to perform healing ceremonies in a spiritual encounter called Vision Quest, where a fasting ritual  is performed and a ceremonial retreat, on a mountain in Sicily.

We will continue working towards reaching this company goals, to be able to have resources to pay for work of lawyers that made it possible and to secure safe future for people of tradition and for their medicines. Giving thanks for all the attention and support that helps to create a precedent for positive change and for raising awareness of the governing institutions regarding protection of andean healing traditions. Ayapuma Samay fund will continue its work for the benefit of communities and will keep on generating economical and intellectual resources for establishing non profit institutions with purpose of education and protection of traditional healers and plants.

Expressing our deepest gratitude to people of academical knowledge, scientists, spiritual leaders, healers , human right protectors and governmental institutions that assist this case and express their awareness regarding necessity to recognize existence of this practices and their future.

we appreciate all donations and help sharing this fundraiser and arriving to our final campaign goal.

Inviting you to follow Ayapuma Samay on social media and to lear more about associations activities @ayapumasamay


Our brother Nicolas Bernal is curently at a detention center in Ecuador .

We are working day and night with local and international human rights attorneys to bring him home as soon as possible. We cannot do it without your help! 

We need support from you - our friends and family - to liberate Nico! Together we can stand up for Nico as well as for each other and the future of our ways of life!

Please read further for more information in English and Spanish:
 leer abajo para la version en Espanol:

Colombian-Canadian citizen Nicolás Esteban Bernal Uscátegui, is a medicine man and healer educated in the traditions of traditional Central American and Andean medicine.

 He was arrested at the airport of Quito on Friday, April 5, transporting 1,785 grams of dehydrated plant known as San Pedro, known by  scientific name as Echinopsis pachanoi, a species of the Cactaceae family, native to Ecuador and northern Peru.

 San Pedro is the oldest entheogen used by Native American people, since 6,000 years ago. 

There are many publications or academic research made on the medicinal uses of San Pedro which are indexed andsearchable electronically. It is used  as traditional or ancestral medicine, in healing ceremonies conducted by a healer and for the treatment of nervous diseases, joints, drug addiction, heart disease and hypertension. In addition, it is antimicrobial and anti-fever.

 The facts, according to Nicolás: the police called him to control, they separated the dehydrated powder of  San Pedro and, in his presence, they did a test with amphetamine reagents, the only reagent that the police have to detect other substances subject to control then  of cocaine and marijuana. As expected, the test was negative and Nicolás got on the plane, but they immediately took him down and transferred him to Quito's crime laboratories, to carry on with  other tests, which Nicolás did not witness this time.

 In this second test, the police state that the reagent showed positive results for amphetamine. The police report mentions a "substance of green color" that contains MESCALINE, one of the active principles of San Pedro, which is included in list B of psychotropic drug substances , as it is often used as a precursor to LSD or any other amphetamine. However, the mescaline molecule in its natural state is different from the biosynthesized one, which is used by drug traffickers. The San Pedro grows slowly and has little alkaloid, and that is why it is not planted or cultivated by the mafias. The reagent that was applied is used for amphetamines in general. It can not specifically determine the type of substance, nor is it accurate or technical to say that the 1,785 grams of San Pedro seized are all mescaline.

 Normally, the San Pedro carries a low percentage of that alkaloid and that test does not determine the actual amount of mescaline present in the plant, nor its purity. To say that everything is pure mescaline is incomprehensible, it is like saying that bringing coffee is the same as carrying pure caffeine.

But the main thing is that Nicolás is a member of the Native American Church Teokali Quetzalcoatl, based in the USA and, as such, has the permission and right to transport ancestral medicine. He is a healer, protected by the millenary tradition of native medicine and also by the law of worship and the regulations that the US government has made with healers, spiritual and medical leaders, for the transport of ritual plants. 
He was transporting dehydrated San Pedro because the European association Fuoco Sacro based in Italy and of which he is a part, invited him to perform healing ceremonies and share these teachings with its members, in a spiritual encounter called Vision Search, where there is a ritual fasting and a ceremonial retreat, on a mountain in Sicily. The retreat ceremony was posted on networks a long time ago. These gatherings concentrate more than 300 accredited members and hence the need to carry 1,785 grams, for individual doses of 5 or 6 grams. It should be noted that the association is not for profit but therapeutic objectives, as indicated by tradition.

 The dehydrated plant is not prohibited, nor is it prohibited to transport it. It is not a crime to pray with it for the health and conscience of the people. The Ecuadorian law does not identify San Pedro as a prohibited plant to transport. It is not the same with the coca leaf, because its transportation and possession are expressly prohibited.

 We are a tradition, a family that takes care of old altars and that we transmit from grandparents to parents, children and grandchildren. We are protected by the Ecuadorian Constitution, which establishes the duty of the State to protect ancestral practices and knowledge.

 It is indispensable and urgent to make a more extensive scientific investigation, to determine the reality: what they seized is a whole plant and not a psychoactive substance , and to determine at least the present percentages of total alkaloids, because a specific test for mescaline is not available in the country.

 We appreciate the support, the heart and the truth of each one. We need to raise 25,000 dollars, a large sum of money, to fund attorneys, paperwork, substance tests, and resources that will allow us to have a clear and strong defense.

Taita Santiago Andrade León

Association AyaPuma Samay, Ecuador

Association Fuoco Sacro, Italy

___________________________________________VERSION EN ESPANOL_______________________________________

 El ciudadano colombo-canadiense Nicolás Esteban Bernal Uscátegui, es un hombre de medicina y curandero educado en las tradiciones de la medicina tradicional centroamericana y andina.

 Fue detenido en el aeropuerto de Quito el viernes 5 de abril, cuando transportaba 1.785 gramos deshidratados de la planta conocida como San Pedro, cuyo nombre científico es Echinopsis pachanoi, una especie de la familia Cactaceae, nativa de Ecuador y el norte de Perú.

 El San Pedro es el más antiguo enteógeno usado por los pueblos nativo-americanos, desde hace 6000 años. Sobre los usos medicinales del San Pedro hay mucha investigación académica y publicaciones indexadas. Se utiliza en la medicina tradicional o ancestral, en ceremonias de sanación conducidas por un curandero y para tratamiento de enfermedades nerviosas, articulaciones, drogodependencias, males cardíacos e hipertensión. Además, es anti microbiótica y antifebril.

 Los hechos, según relata Nicolás: la policía lo llamó a control, apartaron el polvo deshidratado de San Pedro y, en su presencia, hicieron una prueba con reactivos para anfetamina, único reactivo que tiene la policía para detectar otras sustancias sujetas a fiscalización, además de cocaína y marihuana. Como era de esperar, el test resultó negativo y Nicolás subió al avión, pero inmediatamente lo bajaron y trasladaron a los laboratorios de criminalística de Quito, para realizar otras pruebas, que Nicolás no presenció en esa ocasión.

 En este segundo test, la policía afirma que el reactivo dio positivo para anfetamina. El parte policial menciona una “sustancia de color verde” que contiene MESCALINA, uno de los principios activos del San Pedro, que consta en la lista B de sustancias psicotrópicas sujetas a fiscalización, dado que suele ser usada como precursor de LSD o cualquier otra anfetamina. Sin embargo, la molécula de la mescalina en estado natural es diferente a la biosintetizada, que es usada por el narcotráfico. El San Pedro crece lento y tiene poco alcaloide, y por eso no es sembrado ni cultivado por las mafias. El reactivo que se aplicó es utilizado para anfetaminas en general. No puede determinar específicamente el tipo de sustancia, ni es exacto o técnico decir que los 1.785 gramos de San Pedro incautados sean todo mescalina.

 Normalmente, el San Pedro lleva un porcentaje bajo de ese alcaloide y ese test no determina ni la cantidad de mescalina real existente en la planta, ni su pureza. Decir que todo es mescalina pura es incomprensible, es como afirmar que llevar café es igual a llevar cafeína pura.

Pero lo fundamental es que Nicolás es miembro de la Native American Church Teokali Quetzalcoatl, radicada en EUA y, como tal, tiene permiso y derecho de transportar medicina ancestral. Es un curandero, amparado por la tradición milenaria de la medicina nativa y también por la ley de culto y las regulaciones que ha hecho el gobierno estadounidense con los curanderos, líderes espirituales y de medicina, para el transporte de plantas rituales. 

  Estaba transportando San Pedro deshidratado, porque la asociación europea Fuoco Sacro, radicada en Italia y de la cual él es parte, lo invitó a realizar ceremonias de sanación y compartir estas enseñanzas con sus miembros, en un encuentro espiritual que se llama Búsqueda de Visión, donde se realiza un ayuno ritual y un retiro ceremonial, en una montaña en Sicilia. La ceremonia de retiro estaba publicada en redes hace mucho tiempo. Estos encuentros concentran a más de 300 miembros acreditados y de allí la necesidad de llevar 1.785 gramos, para dosis individuales de 5 o 6 gramos. Cabe resaltar que la asociación no tiene fines de lucro sino objetivos terapéuticos, como nos indica la tradición.

 Los curanderos comparten y caminan con sus medicinas porque no es algo ilegal. No es posible que pueden detenernos y acusarnos por transportar la planta principal de nuestros altares, como si se tratara de narcotráfico.

  La planta deshidratada no está prohibida, ni está prohibido transportarla. No es delito rezar con ella para la salud y la conciencia de la gente. La ley ecuatoriana no identifica al San Pedro como una planta prohibida de transportar. No es lo mismo con la hoja de coca, porque expresamente se prohíbe su transporte y tenencia.

 Somos una tradición, una familia que cuida altares antiguos y que lo transmitimos de abuelos a padres, a hijos y nietos. Estamos amparados por la constitución ecuatoriana, que establece como deber del Estado proteger las prácticas y los saberes ancestrales.

 Es indispensable y urgente realizar un informe pericial químico biológico más extenso, para determinar la realidad: lo que incautaron es una planta entera y no un psicoactivo, y determinar al menos los porcentajes presentes de alcaloides totales, porque una prueba específica para mescalina no está disponible en el país.

Consideramos que el Estado ecuatoriano se equivoca al encarcelar a un hombre de tradición indígena, acusándolo de delincuente, ejecutando el único caso en el mundo de arresto por transporte de San Pedro. Este no es un caso de narcotráfico, sino un caso de violación de los derechos fundamentales de Nicolás, una persona capacitada para llevar y recetar esta planta en ceremonias propias de nuestra cultura.

Rezamos también para que el Estado libere a nuestro abuelo San Pedro, porque están encarcelando nuestra cultura, nuestro derecho, nuestra herencia, nuestra familia.

Agradecemos el apoyo, el corazón y la verdad de cada uno. Necesitamos reunir 25,000 dólares, una suma grande de dinero para poder pagar abogados, trámites, pruebas quimicas, y recursos que nos permitan tener una defensa clara y fuerte.

Taita Santiago Andrade León

Asociación AyaPuma Samay, Ecuador

Asociacion Fuoco Sacro, Italia

Donations (0)

  • Matthew Barley 
    • $50 
    • 3 mos
  • Aso. Aya Puma Temazcal  
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Organizer and beneficiary 

AyaPuma Samay 
Fabio Leonardo Penaloza 
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