A video has emerged showing 41-year-old Sebastian Woodroffe begging for his life before he was killed by a mob in Peru.
Woodroffe, a Canadian traveler, was in Peru to study hallucinogenic herbal medicines, according to a report by the Daily Mail. Woodroffe was studying with a respected shaman named Arevalo Lomas, who was known for offering the the hallucinogenic plant medicine Ayahuasca to Westerners.
However, the local villagers attacked Woodroffe after they say he shot Lomas. The 81-year-old healer is dead, and Peruvian law enforcement is investigating both deaths.
The graphic video shows Woodroffe lying in the mud, entangled in ropes as people stand around him. He appears to be pleading with one person as they pull the ropes tighter.
Warning: Graphic content
Arevalo was a member of the Shipibo-Konibo tribe in the village of Victoria Gracia, situated in northeastern Peru. She was killed on Thursday, apparently by two gunshot wounds. Peruvian authorities said that Woodroffe is their current suspect in her murder.
That same day, Woodroffe was killed by villagers from the Ucayali region of the Amazon rain forest. His death was recorded on a cell phone, reportedly showing him as he was dragged through the rain forest by a rope tied around his neck.
In the video, a man police believe to be Woodroffe is seen covered in blood, begging for his life. His body was later recovered from an unmarked grave out in the forest, just over half a mile from Arevalo's healing center.
So far, no arrests have been made in relation to either Woodroffe or Arevalo's deaths.
Westerners have travelled to the Amazon to try ayahuasca for many years, though it has become more prominent in popular consciousness recently. The bitter brown brew is made up of a precise mixture of native plants, which contain a high dose of dimethyltryptamine (DMT,) a psychoactive compound that can lead to hallucinogenic experiences.
DMT is present in most plants, however, it is usually digested in the stomach and rendered inert in the human body. Ayahuasca contains monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI) which allow the DMT to take effect.0comments
Ayahuasca was famously used by the poet Allen Ginsberg and many other prominent figures in the 20th century. Today, it has become so widespread in the U.S. that it was referenced in a skit on Saturday Night Live back in February.
Woodroffe reportedly began travelling to Peru in 2016 to seek out ayahuasca, which is not typically associated with violent outbursts. However, his friends told CBC that he became "more distant" after trying it.