A Canadian man was lynched in the Peruvian Amazon after residents of a remote village accused him of killing an 81-year-old medicine woman a day earlier, a spokesman for the attorney-general's office says.
Olivia Arevalo, a traditional healer of the Shipibo-Conibo tribe, was shot twice and died last Friday near her home in the Amazonian region of Ucayali, said Ricardo Palma Jimenez, the head of a group of prosecutors in Ucayali.
Some villagers had blamed Arevalo's murder on Sebastian Paul Woodroffe, a 41-year-old Canadian citizen who lived in the region and who was believed to have been one of her clients, said Jimenez.
Police found Woodroffe's body buried about 1km from Arevalo's home yesterday, after a mobile phone video recording of the lynching on Saturday was shared on social media, said Jimenez.
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The video shows a man groaning in a puddle near a thatched-roof structure as another man puts a rope around his neck and drags him with others looking on.
Jimenez said prosecutors were exploring several hypotheses related to Arevalo's murder and that it was too early to name suspects in the case. No arrests had been made yet related to Woodroffe's death, he added.
"We will not rest until both murders, of the indigenous woman as well as the Canadian man, are solved," said Jimenez.
Jimenez said the man in the video was Woodroffe and that an autopsy of his body showed he died by strangulation after receiving several blows across his body.
Arevalo's murder had prompted outrage in Peru following other unsolved murders of indigenous activists who had repeatedly faced death threats related to efforts to keep illegal loggers and oil palm growers off native lands.
"Canada extends its deepest condolences following the reported assassination of Olivia Arevalo Lomas, an Indigenous elder and human rights defender," Global Affairs Canada, which manages Canadian foreign relations, said in a statement.
"We are also aware that a Canadian was killed in a related incident. Consular services are being provided to the family of the Canadian," it added.