Olivia Arévalo Lomas. Portrait by Geenss Archenti Flores

The Global Ayahuasca Community Is Reeling in the Wake of Recent Murders
by Allison Tierney

It’s been over week since a respected ayahuasca shaman was shot dead in a village in Peru and a Canadian tourist was lynched in a suspected retribution killing. Local authorities have since located a gun they say was purchased by Sebastian Woodroffe of British Columbia, in early April—a Taurus .380 semi-automatic pistol, the Guardian reports.

Chris Kilham, an ethnobotanist and medicine hunter who has traveled the world for over 20 years working with medicinal plants, echoed Helene’s sentiments. “Many people are in fact delusional about becoming healers,” he told VICE.

“Vastly more people have gotten benefits than anything else from ayahuasca,” Kilham said. He mentioned that in all the ceremonies he has been to, he has only seen one incident where someone went “nuts.”

Just as the case is with other medicines, not everyone is a candidate for ayahuasca. "Not everyone should do psychedelics,” Helene said.


May 2018