14 Shamans Murdered in Peru


Fourteen traditional healers have been brutally murdered in Peru in the past 20 months, allegedly at the urging of a local mayor. The Peruvian government has sent a team of investigators to look into the incidents. While 14 shaman have disappeared, the bodies of only seven have been retrieved so far; the indigenous healers were shot, stabbed or hacked to death by machete.

Protestant Sect Members Suspected

The prosecutor’s office of Alto Amazonas province stated that the alleged murders were carried out by a man known locally at the “witch hunter,” at the behest of his brother, the mayor of the town of Balsa Puerto. A Peruvian government adviser and expert on Amazon cultures alleges that both are members of a Protestant sect that claims shamans are possessed by demons and must be eliminated. The Peruvian Times reports that the shamans had been planning to form an association to share their knowledge.

Irrecoverable Loss

The shamans’ deaths go beyond a brutal crime to represent a loss of unrecoverable knowledge. NGO Amazon Watch’s Peru program director Gregor MacLennan is quoted in the Guardian: “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.”

As the U.S. government marks Columbus Day on October 10, it is disheartening that the oppression of indigenous people that began with the conquerors’ arrival back in 1492 continues to this day.


Image: Urarina Shaman photographed by Bartholomew Dean

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Steven Silas
Steven Silas2 years ago

Why didn't this get any coverage in the mainstream media?

Duane B.
.2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Huber F.
Huber F.3 years ago

This is frightening for a dying practice..

Chrissie Mitchell

Perhaps I have missed something here but if they know who is responsible what have they done to stop these murders?

Charles Yheaulon
Charles Yheaulon3 years ago

Real good christians if they don't do it your way kill them.

Sarah Metcalf
Sarah M.4 years ago

So tragic!

Kunu H.
Kunu Huwa4 years ago

HaHo (Hello),
Fear of the unknown has always brought these kinds of acts upon other human beings customs and traditional ways, even here in the United States amongst the Native Americans, split factions within our own communities.
Not to many people here know that we just got freedom of religion, but many of our medicines are illegal, so its just a way to pray to the Creator, the best we can!
Why? We are classified as "Prisoners Of War" Special class citizens, and then the list gets real long on what you can do and not do!
They can not turn off our minds and our hearts, but they(United States Government) still tries!

Juan T.
Juan T.4 years ago

There are two types of God.

There is the God who dwells everywhere and in our hearts and love all human beings alike. That God promotes understanding, reason and acceptance.

This god who is worshiped by these animals fundamentalists that promote intolerance and violence. The god who promotes a faith blind and stupid. A god that promotes selfishness.

I think there is a difference between God and the god of many of these murderers. The difference is that the god that worship those savages are the demon of ignorance and fanaticism

As a native moves me a lot this act as barbaric against the brothers of Peru. I Demand that the government of Peru to arrest the murderers. Also I recommend the expulsion of all religious sects from the indigenous territories. Enough crimes are committed wrongfully in using the name of God as parapet. Get out of the Amazon.

valerie g.
valerie g.4 years ago

Hopefully, those powerful Masters will Unite in Spirit and become even more powerful! Knowledge is never lost. It goes underground. The secrets of the ages have always been hidden, and it's never held by only a few. As more and more people pay attention to the plight of the planet, the indigenous peoples, nature, animals, the Truth and Light become stronger. We are all one. The truth is becoming evident, and these atrocities are the last gasp of the tyrannical dinosaurs who are in their death throes. You can kill the messenger but you cannot kill the Truth. The light is growing. The new dawn is here...

Kathy K.
Kathy K.4 years ago

This is awful. I hope that the find and stop those responsible and soon.