Investigation Launched Against Rancher’s Ploy to Fool Threatened Indian Tribe
Paraguay's 20 ethnic indigenous groups are regarded as peaceful and tolerant. survival international

A woman accused of being a witch has been tied to a wooden pole, shot with arrows and then burned alive in Paraguay.

45-year-old Adolfina Ocampos was reportedly killed after members of the Mbya Guarani indigenous community found her guilty of practicing sorcery. She was sentenced to death by the group's chief last week.

Nine men in the village of Tahehyi have been charged with first-degree murder after they admitted killing the woman.

Jose Zanardini, an Italian anthropologist and Catholic priest, said: "I've been working in Paraguay for 40 years and I can't remember a similar episode of an execution for alleged sorcery.

"The tragic death of this woman is isolated and out of the ordinary within the coexistence of Paraguay's 20 ethnic indigenous groups. In general, the Indians are very peaceful and tolerant," he added.

The state agency for the protection of indigenous peoples has condemned Ms Ocampos' killing saying: "Although the indigenous communities are ruled by customary law, their acts cannot violate the constitutional rights of respecting the life and the liberty of people."

According to a UN report thousands of peopleacross the world are accused of being witches every year.

A local witch doctor was arrested on suspicion of carrying out the killings of seven people accused of witchcraft in Tanzania.

In Tanzania, albinos are killed and dismembered because of a widespread belief that charms made from their body parts bring good fortune and prosperity.

At least 2,100 people have been murdered for "practising witchcraft" in India between 2000 and 2012, according to the Indian National Crime Records Bureau data.

The report revealed that they are often abused, cast out from their families and communities and sometimes killed.