Mexican villagers stone ‘witch’ to death

AP, Apr. 14, 2003

SAN CRISTOBAL DE LAS CASAS, Mexico (AP) — An angry crowd stoned to death an Indian man accused of practicing witchcraft in a southern Mexico town with a long tradition of religious violence.

The man, Domingo Shilon Shilon, was also hacked with machetes Sunday by the crowd in San Juan Chamula, a majority Catholic township on the outskirts of the colonial city of San Cristobal, 460 miles (735 kms) southeast of Mexico City.

Ad: Vacation? City Trip? Weekend Break? Book Skip-the-line tickets

Shilon, 50, was caught by the crowd in a neighborhood known as Rancho Narvaez, state police said. After killing him, the crowd partially burned his body.

Shilon, like most of his alleged attackers, was a Tzotzil Indian, a branch of the Maya. The Chiapas state Justice Department said an investigation was continuing into the killing, but it is often difficult to prosecute such cases, given that witnesses are frequently unwilling to testify.

Since the 1960s, San Juan Chamula has seen numerous killings and confrontations as “traditional” Catholics — who mix pre-Hispanic Indian rites with Roman liturgy — battle to expel evangelical Protestants.

Witchcraft is often blamed for outbreaks of illness or the deaths of children in the impoverished Indian community, where many practice faith healing and some residents — mainly men — engage in so-called “white” magic.

In 1996, residents of another San Juan Chamula neighborhood beat and then hanged a man suspected of causing ailments and misfortune through witchcraft.

The villagers killed the man after they went to a cave he frequented and found bottles dressed in the local Indian garb, objects he allegedly used in casting spells on people.

Travel Religiously

Book skip-the-line tickets to the worlds major religious sites — or to any other place in the world.

We appreciate your support

One way in which you can support us — at no additional cost to you — is by shopping at


Our website includes affiliate links, which means we get a small commission — at no additional cost to you — for each qualifying purpose. For instance, as an Amazon Associate Religion News Blog earns from qualifying purchases. That is one reason why we can provide this service free of charge.


(Listed if other than Religion News Blog)

More About This Subject


Religion News Blog last updated this post on CET (Central European Time)