A friend fears that a man allegedly lynched in Peru is his friend of 12 years, Sebastian Woodroffe, who he describes as a gentle person on a journey to find enlightenment.
Yarrow Willard said the Comox Valley-area man had travelled to Peru several times to experiment with ayahuasca, a hallucinogenic drink, at rainforest retreats.
Ayahuasca, a concoction combining an Amazonian vine and dimethyltryptamine (DMT), is not normally associated with violence.
On Saturday night, Willard learned that Woodroffe is feared dead in Peru, the place he went seeking "deeper meaning."
Global Affairs Canada has not yet confirmed his identity, though the death of a Canadian has been confirmed. Peruvian authorities released Woodroffe's name.
In a bizarre attack the 41-year-old was allegedly lynched by people in the Ucayali region of the Amazon rainforest who Peruvian authorities say believed that Woodroffe was involved in the shooting death of an 81-year-old traditional healer.
Olivia Arevalo Lomas of the Shipibo-Conibo ethnic group, an Indigenous healer and rights activist, was fatally shot on Thursday and Peruvian authorities described Woodroffe as her client.
"We've just been in shock. It's pretty traumatic to hear. It just felt like a scam because there is no way this person [Woodroffe] is capable of that," said Willard.
Sebastian Woodroffe's identification was flashed in Peruvian news reports alleging that a young man has been killed in a gruesome attack in the South American country. (Peruvian National Police)
Warning: Graphic description
Word of this sent Willard searching for news of his friend. That's when he watched the online video purportedly showing a man being lynched.
He said he's barely slept since witnessing the sickening attack on a man who seems to moan the word mother, as he is allegedly about to die. It is difficult to identify the attack victim's face, but Willard believes it is Woodroffe.
Woodroffe grew up in the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island.
In recent years, he worked odd jobs and did some professional diving, living around Courtenay and Cumberland, at times in an RV, said Willard.
A man who 'tests the boundaries'
Woodroffe's son often played with Willard's child.
"He is a little bit of a, I'll call it a shit disturber. One of these people who likes to poke, and likes to test the boundaries of people's beliefs, but is very much a gentle person underneath all that. This man has never had a gun or talked about anything along that line."
Peruvian news reports suggest that Woodroffe was killed by a group in reprisal for his suspected involvement in the brutal shooting of Arevalo Lomas.
Her killing has sparked outrage, following other unsolved murders of Indigenous activists who had repeatedly faced death threats related to efforts to keep illegal loggers and oil palm growers off Indigenous peoples' lands.
Traditional healer and elder Olivia Arevalo Lomas of the Shipibo-Conibo Indigenous people of Peru was shot and killed at her home by an unknown assailant or assailants. (Temple of the Way of Light/YouTube)
Source : http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/peru-lynching-bc-man-1.4630622