A new witch-hunt in Guatemala
Following the mass lynching of a man accused of witchcraft, Guatemalan Internet users are demanding justice against religious fanaticism.
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Around 200 people took part in the lynching of a healer in the town of San Luis, Petén (Guatemala), who was accused of having caused the death of one of his neighbors using an alleged remedy, reported El Heraldo de México.
The video, which lasts just 28 seconds and is entitled "He was burned for being a brujo," shows the alleged shaman being burned alive by the crowd and running like wildfire on social media, causing concern and terror among those involved in the so-called magical arts, who also claim to feel stigmatized by their profession and beliefs in a country that defines itself as secular but where religion and politics are closely linked.
According to periodistas-es, people who participated last Saturday in the lynching of the healer Domingo Choc belonged to evangelical congregations and it took place in Chimay, a Mayan village made up of 250 families and where there are a not-insignificant number of six evangelical churches. Many more than schools.
"In Guatemala, they burn witches. Because of prejudice and ignorance, the Mayan Spiritual Guide and Herbalist, Domingo Choc, was burned alive," said Guatemalan magician and businessman Alexander Goz on Instagram. "Prejudice against the Mayan Scientists because of their heterodox practices, which have been demonized since the time of the invasion. Collective ignorance towards the native peoples, by fundamentalist groups that cannot see beyond what their bias allows".
Goz, who defines himself as a vegetal alchemist, stated that Domingo Choc's tragic death by a crowd is a "Ladino redeeming of mestizaje" while he wondered why a " bunch of people" could fall again into a "religious trap" and repeat a history of persecutions that already occurred during the 15th and 16th centuries.
The magician encouraged the strengthening of Mayan spirituality not only in the country but throughout the world.
En Guatemala queman brujos. Por prejuicio e ignorancia, el Guía Espiritual y Herborista Maya, Domingo Choc, fue quemado vivo. Prejuicio hacia los Científicos Mayas por sus prácticas heterodoxas, que han sido demonizadas desde los tiempos de la invasión. Ignorancia colectiva hacia los pueblos originarios, por grupos fundamentalistas que no pueden ver más allá de lo que su sesgo les permite. En la distancia, un ladino redimido al mestizaje, escribiendo éste texto e intentando comprender por qué la misma historia de los siglos XV - XVIII se repite y por qué una turba de personas, cae de nuevo en la trampa religiosa de hacer Auto de fe a lo que sus limitadas mentes no pueden comprender. La Espiritualidad Maya se fortalece en Guatemala y en todo el mundo. Escribe en un comentario tu Nawal Maya, para elevar el sentimiento al Ajaw. #domingochoc
Other users also shared posts against "intolerant, racist and murderous religious fanaticism" and asked for justice for Domingo Choc.
"Persecuted and sentenced, for his religious beliefs, for his different worldview. Silenced by his heritage and cast aside by the ignorance of a people steeped in dogma," wrote another user, who wondered, making unspoken mention of George Floyd's murder in the United States: "If a fight is being waged for a foreign brother, why not report it and join in the pain of a brother from our magical land?"
Meanwhile, the Guatemalan ombudsman, Jordán Rodas, has condemned the public assassination of Domingo Choc Che, of whom he says he was "committed to preserving and transmitting his ancestral knowledge."