An indigenous woman of Paraguay was reportedly set on fire and shot with several arrows as a means of punishment after locals determined that she was likely a witch, according to a local prosecutor speaking to the Associated Press.
The prosecutor said that the victim, 45-year-old Adolfina Ocampos, was tied to a wooden pole before members of the Mbya Guarani ethnic group decided to shoot her with arrows and burn her alive. The prosecutor has charged nine village men with murder, and they have already admitted their guilt, according to the report.
The Mbya Guarani people are considered to be indigenous to South American countries Paraguay, Argentina, Brazil, and Bolivia.
Locals said that witchcraft accusations are not something commonly associated with the tribe.
A local anthropologist told the AP, “I’ve been working in Paraguay for 40 years and I can’t remember a similar episode of an execution for alleged sorcery. The tragic death of this woman is isolated and out of the ordinary within the coexistence of Paraguay’s 20 ethnic indigenous groups. In general, the Indians are very peaceful and tolerant.”
A report by the UN, titled “Witches in the 21st Century,” has suggested that tens of thousands are still being accused of practices such as witchcraft and sorcery. The report stated, “It is known that every year, thousands of people, mostly older women and children are accused as witches, often abused, cast out of their families and communities and in many cases murdered.”