Two Suspects Sought in Lynching of Canadian in Peru

Authorities have ordered the arrest of two people in the lynching of a Canadian man in a remote village in the Peruvian Amazon.

Authorities have said that a mob dragged Sebastian Woodroffe by the neck to his death shortly after people accused him of killing Olivia Arevalo, an octogenarian plant healer from the Shipibo-Konibo tribe of northeastern Peru.

Arevalo was shot twice, and local villagers blamed her murder on Woodroffe, 41, a Canadian citizen who lived in the area and was believed to have been one of her clients.

Police found Woodroffe’s body buried in a shallow grave about a kilometer from Arevalo’s home on Saturday.

A cellphone video recording from the lynching showed a bloodied man, believed to be Woodroffe, crying out as he lied in a puddle outside a hut. Moments later, two men were seen tugging at a rope around the man’s neck before he goes limp.

A person at the lynching shared it on social media.

Local prosecutor Ricardo Palma Jimenez told Reuters that it was far from clear who killed Arevalo.

No one witnessed the shooting, the murder weapon has not been found and a test for gunshot residue on Woodroffe’s body will likely take 15 to 20 days.

Arevalo’s slaying prompted outrage, as it followed other unsolved killings of indigenous leaders and activists who faced repeated death threats related to their efforts to keep illegal loggers and oil palm growers off native lands.

Woodroffe had moved to the jungle region of Ucayali to study native plant-based medicine, according to the crowdfunding website Indiegogo, which he used to raise money for the trip.