Lynched Canadian killed Peru shaman, prosecutors say

Police and locals unearth the body of a Canadian man allegedly involved in the murder of shaman in the remote rural area of Yarinacocha, in Peru, on April 21, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 04 May 2018

Lynched Canadian killed Peru shaman, prosecutors say

  • The body of Canadian Sebastian Paul Woodroffe was discovered April 21 in the Ucayali region of northeastern Peru bordering Brazil
  • Residents believe Woodroffe shot an 81-year-old indigenous shaman two days earlier outside her home

LIMA:  Peruvian prosecutors probing the lynching of a Canadian man in a remote area in the Amazon jungle said on Thursday they had concluded he was responsible for the fatal shooting of a female shaman.
“The perpetrator of the death of the Shipibo leader was the Canadian citizen,” a spokesman for the prosecutors’ office in the Amazon town of Pucallpa told AFP.
The body of the Canadian, Sebastian Paul Woodroffe, 42, was discovered April 21 in the Ucayali region of northeastern Peru bordering Brazil, not far from where the 81-year-old indigenous shaman, Olivia Arevalo, had been killed two days earlier outside her home.
Grisly footage of Woodroffe’s death at the hands of a mob circulated on social media.
In the video, a man is seen trying to put a black rope around the neck of another man slumped in a puddle with blood on his face who tries — unsuccessfully — to fight him off. “Please, no!” he mumbles in Spanish, as someone can be heard saying: “You asked for it.”
Prosecutors had said the cause of Woodroffe’s death was strangulation, noting there was also evidence of multiple other injuries.
Woodroffe had been living in the area for about two years and had acquired 20 hectares (50 acres) of land there, Peruvian media said.
Inca said gunpowder found on the Canadian’s clothes was “the main proof” that he shot Arevalo.
“The motives of the murder cannot be known. He is already dead. The only thing that has been determined is who killed the lady,” the spokesman said.
The prosecutors’ office said two men suspected of being involved in Woodroffe’s lynching — both members of Arevalo’s community — were being sought, with rewards of $6,200 for each of them.
Within her Shipibo-Konibo community, Arevalo was a healer widely revered for her knowledge of traditional medicine who was believed to have special powers.
 


China gives Hong Kong leader ‘unwavering support’

Updated 39 min 27 sec ago

China gives Hong Kong leader ‘unwavering support’

  • The city’s leader is in Beijing for an annual visit, and is set to meet President Xi Jinping later Monday
  • The past month had seen a lull in the violence and vandalism in the city, after pro-democracy parties won a landslide in local council elections

BEIJING: China’s premier told beleaguered Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam on Monday that she had Beijing’s “unwavering support” after a huge rally earlier this month and her government’s thrashing at recent local elections.

The city has been upended by six months of massive pro-democracy protests that have seen violent battles between police and hardcore demonstrators, as well as regular transport disruption.

Protesters have called for the unpopular Lam to stand down as leader, but Li Keqiang said Beijing would give “unwavering support” to her government to maintain the “long-term prosperity and stability in Hong Kong.”

“The central government fully recognizes the efforts you and the SAR (special administrative region) government have paid,” said Li, at a meeting with Lam in the Hong Kong Hall of the imposing Great Hall of People in Beijing.

He said Lam’s government had “tried its best to maintain social stability” amid “an unprecedentedly severe and complicated situation.”

But he also called for the Hong Kong government to “step up studies of the deep-seated conflicts and problems that hinder Hong Kong’s economic and social development” in order to restore calm to the city.

“Hong Kong is yet to get out of its plight. The SAR government must continue its hard work, stop violence and subdue chaos according to laws and restore order,” Li told Lam.

The city’s leader is in Beijing for an annual visit, and is set to meet President Xi Jinping later Monday.

At the meeting with Li, she said she was grateful for the premier’s “care for Hong Kong.”

The semi-autonomous city is ruled under the “one country, two systems” principle, which gives the territory rights unseen on mainland China — rights protesters say are steadily being eroded.

The past month had seen a lull in the violence and vandalism in the city, after pro-democracy parties won a landslide in local council elections.

A week ago, around 800,000 people marched peacefully through the city’s streets, urging the government to respond to their five demands — which include an independent inquiry into the police, an amnesty for those arrested, and fully free elections.

But public anger remains as Beijing and Lam show no sign of giving further concessions despite the election success.

This weekend the relative calm was broken by clashes between black-clad pro-democracy protesters and Hong Kong police in some of the city’s shopping malls.

And earlier this week an international panel of experts hired to advise Hong Kong on the police response to protests announced they were quitting, saying the watchdog was not fit for purpose “in a society that values freedoms and rights.”