A woman accused of being a witch was burnt alive on a bonfire in an indigenous community in a remote part of the Amazonian rainforest in Peru, authorities said.

Members of the Shiringamazu Alto community sentenced 73-year-old Rosa Villar Jarionca to death over claims she made people ill through witchcraft, said Prosecutor Hugo Mauricio, Associated Press reports.

The alleged killing took place on 20 September, but word only recently reached authorities.

Mauricio said mobile phone footage filmed by a witness and given to authorities shows Villar with her hands bound on a pile of dry logs and branches. A man pours gasoline on the logs and another man throws a lit match, igniting them. Villar can be heard screaming, he said.

He said that the body was left burning on the bonfire for three days, but prosecutors managed to retrieve bones.
The decision to burn Villar alive was recorded in the community's logbook, he said, with the killing intended to serve as an "example" after she was accused of making people ill through witchcraft.

Belief in witchcraft and the supernatural is still widespread in Peru's indigenous communities, many of which live in remote areas inaccessible to law enforcement officials.

In February, an outbreak of rabies spread by bloodsucking bats, which killed 12 children in the Amazon region of Loreto, Peru, was initially blamed on witchcraft by the community leaders. This meant that authorities were not informed of the outbreak straight away, delaying the time vaccines could be sent to the region.