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PERU – A 41-year-old man from Canada who traveled to Peru to study hallucinogenic medicine was lynched by a mob of villagers after he allegedly killed a local shaman.

Sebastian Woodroffe went to Peru in hopes of getting an apprenticeship with a plant healer from the Shipibo tribe in hopes of helping him treat addicts with hallucinogenic medicine.

On an Indiegogo page he set up to help finance his trip, Woodroffe wrote:

“The plant medicine I have the opportunity of learning is far deeper than ingesting a plant and being healed. It is not about getting ‘high’ either. It is true some of the plants I will be learning about do have a perception-altering effect, but these are a few plants out of thousands I will be working with.”

So how did Woodroffe start his trip with such good intentions and end up with a “I went to the Amazon rain forest and all I got was this lynching by a mob” t-shirt?

Well, the details aren’t quite clear, but current reports say that Woodroffe was killed after being accused of shooting an 81-year-old Olivia Arevalo to death. Arevalo is an indigenous healer who Woodroffe had reportedly gone to Peru to learn from.

She was shot twice and died on Thursday near her home in the village of Victoria Gracia. Some of the villagers accused Woodroffe of killing her and doled out some village justice that was captured on a cell phone camera.

In the video, a bloodied Woodroffe can be seen crying and begging for his life as two men put a rope around his neck and drag him along the ground until he goes limp. You can watch the video here.

It wasn’t until the video was posted online that officials got involved and went to the village to investigate. Once there they found Woodroffe’s body buried in a shallow grave.

Ronald Suárez, president of the Shipibo Konibo council, said Woodroffe’s death was caused by two men who had “acted on the spur of the moment and resorted to traditional justice.” He added that his people have little confidence in police as “crimes against us go unpunished.”

However, police are investigating a theory that the murder was the result of a local gang leader looking to collect money from Arévalo’s son.

Olivia Arevalo

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