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Peru shaman murders investigated


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#1 poison_wind

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 02:30 AM

Peruvian-shaman-Pedro-Tan-007.jpg
Peruvian shaman Pedro Tangoa performs a ritual involving the hallucinogen ayahuasca. Some suggest that the use of such psychoactive plants may be one reason the murdered shamans were targeted. Photograph: Reuters


The Peruvian government is sending a team of officials to a remote region of the Amazon jungle to investigate the deaths of 14 shamans who were killed in a string of brutal murders.
The traditional healers, all from the Shawi ethnic group, were murdered in separate incidents over the last 20 months, allegedly at the behest of a local mayor.
No arrests have been made over the deaths, which took place in and around Balsapuerto, a small river port in Peru's vast Amazon region on its northern border with Ecuador, Colombia and Brazil.
The prime suspects, however, in the disappearance of one victim and the murder of another are the mayor of Balsapuerto, Alfredo Torres and his brother Augusto.
The two men were named in a report from the public prosecutor's office in the nearest town of Yurimaguas, which said seven of the victims had been shot, stabbed or hacked to death with machetes. Local people identified all of them as curanderos or native healers, said the vice-minister of intercultural affairs, Vicente Otta.
The Roman Catholic church in the area has reported the death of seven other shamans whose bodies have yet to be found, Otta said, adding that territorial disputes and political disagreements also pointed to the mayor being "one of the instigators of the slaughter".
He said that the murder suspects had sought to "legitimise the killings " by blaming the victims for the high level of infant mortality in the area.
Torres has denied the allegations in interviews with local media. Calls to his office went unanswered.
The public prosecutor's report also details the testimony of a survivor of one attack. Bautista Inuma was mistaken for a shaman and received gunshot wounds and had an arm hacked off before he managed to escape.
Roger Rumrrill, an expert on Peruvian Amazon cultures and a government adviser, said some of the victims' bodies were thrown into rivers, to be devoured by piranhas and other fish.
He alleged that the mayor, who is an evangelical Christian, ordered the killings on hearing that the shamans planned to form an association. He said the mayor's brother was known in the area as a matabrujos or witch killer.
"For Protestant sects, the shamans are possessed by the devil; a totally sectarian, primitive and racist concept," he said.
Shamans in the Peruvian Amazon use psychoactive plants such as the jungle vine ayahuasca for spiritual ceremonies. As early as the 16th century, Spanish and Portuguese missionaries described its use by native people in the Amazon as the work of the devil.
"Until now the death of 14 curanderos who are the depositaries of Amazon knowledge wasn't worth the attention of the press," Rumrrill said. "That's an expression of how fragmented and racist this country is. A centralised country which continues to look at its interior with total indifference."
The National Institute for the Development of Andean, Amazonian and Afro-Peruvian Peoples estimates that there are around 330,000 indigenous people in Peru's Amazon region, about 1% of the country's population of more than 29 million.
Gregor MacLennan, Peru programme coordinator for the NGO Amazon Watch, said: "The death of these shamans represents not just a tragic loss of life, but the loss of a huge body of knowledge about rainforest plants and the crucial role shamans play in traditional medicine and spiritual guidance in indigenous communities."


#2 raveneye

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 08:55 PM

thanks for posting this.
this is sad.
keep the faith.

#3 Dr.Hallucination

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 08:59 PM

Very tragic.

#4 BecomeTheOther

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Posted 15 December 2011 - 01:57 PM

Indeed, so ignorant. I think the mayor and the witch killer need to be publicly humiliated and then be-headed.

#5 wildedibles

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Posted 15 December 2011 - 02:54 PM

Breath......
they said something of child mortality ..... has this been compared to what .... it's an excuse that will have to be proven and would be difficult to compare to other children living in the jungle who don't drink Ayahuasca I am guessing that they are trying to say giving it to kids is bad but some shaman have givin it to kids. Tough call when it comes to children and drugs meds etc.... and usually they don't know if it is harmful to kids or not and is recalled....
This is making my heart hurt

#6 dub504

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Posted 15 December 2011 - 06:43 PM

I'm hoping for justice.

#7 BecomeTheOther

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Posted 15 December 2011 - 07:06 PM

Sorry Wild ed, your really misunderstanding the child mortality bit.

The mayor and his people are fundamental christians (dogmatic and ignorant ones at that) They think shamanism is witchcraft and is inherintly evil.

These are INFANT MORTALITIES they are talking about. Basically they are trying to blame miscairages and child deaths on the shamans. The shamans are performing evil witchcraft, and god is punishing the community by causing unborn children to die...

Obviously this is just superstitious fear mongering, like they said in the article, they are trying to use this excuse to justify the murders.

Do you get it now? It has nothing to do with shamans poisoning children with ayahuasca, lol not 100% sure how you got that idea...

Cheers sister!

#8 wildedibles

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Posted 15 December 2011 - 09:10 PM

Cause they do give it to kids sorry I didn't explain I have watched several ayahuasca ceremony's on you tube with kids drinking it too just a dose size for a child of course I was reading further ahead of the artical but I'm shure they are maening that ... since pregnant women and children are drinking it they can blame the death on the shaman cause how else would they do it wish full thinking and that being said shaman are healers they have the same oaths a doctor would take only in our hearts and groups they would not wish ill on anyone, that's why many of them did not fight back they wish no ill harm on none
do they even know how these children died probably no info on that
Someone died in Canada on Ayahuasca it was the nicotine in the brew was too strong for only 1 person out of 10 or 20
maybe it has something to do with the nicotine children are more susceptible to this
I know my doctor told me to not stop smoking when I was pregnant the 2nd and 3rd time they said you have a higher risk of miscarriage going through nicotine withdrawal I had stopped smoking the first time and miscarried the baby, maybe they should have had more Ayahuasca
I think there is a different reason the child mortality is high probably cause they live in the jungle only the tough survive shamans should not be murdered for this .... as a true shaman they would never hurt anyone it shows the way they died not fighting back at all ..... it really gets me upset that witch hunts are still going on ..... There knowledge will live on they were trying to organize and gather all the shaman so we all can talk and learn from each other and sharing info on the web is something that we can help do :)

#9 shroom_seeker

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Posted 15 December 2011 - 09:28 PM

I've spent extensive time in peru drinking ayahuasca and am familiar with the culture. BecomeTheOther has it right, they are blaming the deaths of these children on witchcraft for sure, not on children drinking aya (which is common and safe).

#10 wildedibles

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Posted 15 December 2011 - 09:41 PM

So how then did they kill the kids that's just stupid
I am a shaman and well I cannot kill a person using witch craft will that even work in a court these days in another country ..... who knows
Ayahuasca is used as a cure all so it should be safe with other hidden health problems complications like the woman who died in Canada had or med reactions etc.....
I was guessing at the reason for the children dieing so if it wasnt that there is another reason for the deaths they need to research, because you cannot kill someone with witch craft alone nor would a shaman do it at all they have a calling to heal that is so strong they would rather die than kill the other person .... it's a calling a healing process not the other way around period.

"Shamans in the Peruvian Amazon use psychoactive plants such as the jungle vine ayahuasca for spiritual ceremonies. As early as the 16th century, Spanish and Portuguese missionaries described its use by native people in the Amazon as the work of the devil."

This is why I have mentioned it they are hinting at the brew being the devils work ....
The land is also being fought over for logging and planting and the native people dont want to give up their homes their life the water ways the fishing the food .... why try to take the lungs of the world away
http://researchingln...-and.html<br />
Here is another link some good reading here
http://www.ayahuasca-info.com/news/

Edited by wildedibles, 15 December 2011 - 10:05 PM.


#11 shroom_seeker

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Posted 15 December 2011 - 09:56 PM

There is a light and dark side to plant shamanism, especially ayahuasca. People can be attacked, become ill and die from witchcraft, which is common in the peruvian amazon. You might not have seen it in a youtube video but it is real.

#12 dub504

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Posted 15 December 2011 - 10:00 PM

The land is also being fought over for logging and planting and the native people dont want to give up their homes their life the water ways the fishing the food .... why try to take the lungs of the world away

The allure of short term profits seem to blind the few to the long term consequences that affect the many.

#13 wildedibles

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Posted 15 December 2011 - 10:10 PM

Ok soul sickness does exist but the shaman's have not done it they help heal soul sickness is my point.... other witch craft trials have been this way as well you put a spell on me and such some times magic is misused but i do not feel this is the case from the beginning with the shamans from Peru do you think the shamans could have become sick with possession and intentionally killed children with your experience being there do you think they could have murdered the children there for were murdered for their actions?
I believe the one possessed is the mayor violently killing people not even knowing if the Shaman was sick just killing them for who they are probably sneak up attack. Cover it up and make excuses later.

Edited by wildedibles, 15 December 2011 - 10:17 PM.


#14 shroom_seeker

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Posted 15 December 2011 - 11:11 PM

A shaman can heal or cause harm. Throughout mexico, central and south america, healers are referred to as curendero(a)s, witches as brujo(a)s. A shaman can be a curendero or a brujo, sometimes both (in peru people who work primarily with ayahuasca are called ayahuasquero(a)s, which refers to the plant used, but like the term shaman, refers to a community of people who can heal and/or harm).

do you think the shamans could have become sick with possession and intentionally killed children with your experience being there do you think they could have murdered the children there for were murdered for their actions?

To answer your question, no. Becoming "sick with possession" and working "intentionally" seems like a contradiction. Intention is key in shamanism.

I don't know if any of the 14 shamans murdered were involved with witchcraft. But my point and suspicions are basically the same as BTO's response - read that again if you need clarification.

I think the murder of these 14 shamans is a travesty - imagine how much sacred knowledge they held and was lost. Their communities are getting run over in the name of western culture! These acts are not going unnoticed, and despite rivalries there exists a connection and respect among most amazonian shamans. I also hope for and pray for justice.

Hey Wildedibles, if you haven't read it yet you should check out the book Ayahuasca Visions by Luna and Amaringo. It does a good job of describing brujeria (witchcraft) in the amazon, and has some great paintings and knowledge in it.
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#15 wildedibles

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Posted 16 December 2011 - 05:49 AM

I will look that book up thank you
Being a witch / shaman believe me I understand and it sucks.
It gets me so angry they eg. ( mayor ) don't even understand witch craft at all
Fear mongering is right
and I think it has more to do with taking land and stealing trees, planting the newly clear cut land.
I do not wish harm on people even if they deserve it, but some witches want revenge at times but I don't think that is the case here ....

#16 BecomeTheOther

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Posted 16 December 2011 - 02:57 PM

Yes wild, such painful and terrible ignorance on the part of whomever would persecute these people for their customs and beliefs. Its a sick fear that drives some people to do horrible things. My heart goes out to the shamans and their families, and it is sad they were just trying to get a union going and spread plant knowledge. Hopefully the shamans still left on this earth work hard to preserve and disseminate their knowledge, because we really need it in these difficult times. Cheers sister

Cheers seeker great to hear from ya.

#17 wildedibles

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Posted 16 December 2011 - 06:59 PM

The knowledge is being passed on and all I can see is we have to remain I said breath for a reason this makes me mad and I don't want the thread to get dumped cause I cannot deal with my temper so I am choosing words as carefull as I can
This knowledge cannot be killed it will relive again through them in their next life
and the Shaman have been teaching us bringing us there even to teach us it will live on through the internet too
Bide the law ye must,
In perfect love and perfect trust.
Eight words the wiccan rede fulfill
An' ye harm none, do what ye will.
to be a true witch of any background have to follow the same rules maybe in different words but the harm none part is huge cause there is a X3 effect and any witch learning learns this one really quick or will always fail X3

#18 shroom_seeker

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Posted 16 December 2011 - 08:52 PM

...

About the fourteen lost souls
I try to keep positive
Connect to the source
And see that it is infinite
We still have the drum
We still have the plants
They connect worlds together
And they want to help

I guess the biggest question in my mind
Where is our culture going?
We all feel the momentum build
As we head into 2012
And we stand at a crossroads
Will we totally re-embrace
Or abandon the old ways?
Right now i'm enjoying the ride :heartbeat

Edited by shroom_seeker, 16 December 2011 - 10:11 PM.
...


#19 wildedibles

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 01:45 AM

:heartbeat Thank you This has had me very upset since I heard the news when I first started with traveling I seen past life experiences seen a few of my past life deaths I know I have been a Shaman for a long time .... some things I don't know how I know but I do automatically. These Shaman had a goal they were trying to all meet and share experiences I think we should too to help pass on something to others who need to hear it :) natural food and medicine exercise gardens and wild places a simpler life and yet it is far from simple ... I have learned some thing interesting this summer many people would benifit to the nutritious weeds in their lawns herbal medicine that would suit their individual needs were found in their lawn talk about local :) and free and well how do u get people to eat their grass lol and making positive identifications of the weed ...
... just thinking of sharing some positive thoughts about being a Shaman.

Edited by wildedibles, 17 December 2011 - 01:54 AM.





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