People hold candles to pray for death-row prisoners at Wijayapura port in Cilacap, Indonesia on April 29, 2015.
Himawan Nugraha
April 30, 2015 8:04 AM EDT

Indonesia executed eight people Wednesday for drug smuggling, but one of them, a paranoid schizophrenic who also suffered from bipolar disorder, wasn’t aware he was about to be killed.

The priest who had been ministering to Rodrigo Gularte said the Brazilian inmate was “lost because he’s a schizophrenic,” the Guardian reports.

“He was hearing voices all the time,” Father Charlie Burrows said. “I talked to him for about an hour and a half, trying to prepare him for the execution. I said to him, ‘I’m 72 years old, I’ll be heading to heaven in the near future, so you find out where my house is and prepare a garden for me.’

But when Gularte was taken from his cell and put in chains, Burrows said he asked, “Am I being executed?”

Burrows explained, “I said, ‘Yes, I thought I explained that you.’ He didn’t get excited – he’s a quiet sort of a guy – but he said, ‘This is not right.’

Eight people were executed by a firing squad in Indonesia Wednesday for smuggling drugs into the country. One other was granted a stay of execution while her case is investigated further.

Write to Tessa Berenson at

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