A horrific burning of a 73-year-old Peruvian woman took place on Sept 20. She had been sentenced to death by the Shiringazu Alto community under the charge that she had afflicted and made people ill through witchcraft.
The incident took place in a far-off Amazon rainforest, so the officials got to know of it just recently, Prosecutor Hugo Mauricio saw a video of the incident in his cellphone. The hands of Rosa Villar Jarionca, the woman, were tied up, even as dry logs and branches around her were set aflame.
"The woman was burned alive because the people accused her of being a witch," Mauricio told The Associated Press.
The video is terrible, revealing a man pouring kerosene on the bonfire as well as the woman, while another man throws a lighted matchstick on them both. Villar can be heard screaming. Reportedly, the villagers burnt her body for three days, so that no traces of the incident could be found, according to Mauricio.
Later, 20 police officers traced some burnt bones in the area. The sentencing and decision to burn her body had been hand-written in a community log book. The decision to burn her had been taken in order to set her up as an example to the Shiringazu Alto. They wanted to show a prosecution against the damage due to her "practice of witchcraft."
Mauricio is in charge of the Puerto Bermudez district of Peru's central rainforest. There are 300 indigenous communities here, and people often charge others of practicing witchcraft. Without scientific knowledge, they cannot explain ailments.
The incidents indicate poor leadership and inefficient administration.