General Crime

A woman was tied to a pole, beaten and then burned alive because people believed she was a witch

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Adolfina Ocampos, 45, was lynched by members of an indigenous community in Paraguay this week and seven men and a teenager have been arrested by police. Officers said the woman was accused of witchcraft and was taken to a river and submerged under water.

They then tied her to a pole and carried her to another site where they prepared a grave, filled it with firewood and set her alight while she was still alive. They later burned the remains of the body on a camp fire, investigators say. A witness reported that the victim was tortured and still alive threw fire and shot him with arrows. A group of men and a 14-year-old boy have confessed to what took place, according to police.

One of the indigenous leaders told officers his sister has been ill for more than a year and blamed the bad luck on Miss Ocampos, claiming she is a witch. She was originally banished from her native village to the Paraguayan capital Asunción for a month, but when that didn’t help, the villagers took the decision to torture and kill her. The leader added that he was not sorry for his actions.

The National Indigenous Institute (INDI), which carried out the investigation with police, says they also rescued a 14-year-old girl who has also been tortured for being a witch. She is now receiving help from the state.

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