The cult is accused of killing and eating seven people — five men and two women – whom they say practiced black magic in remote jungle territory around the coastal town of Madang. Police say they have arrested twenty-nine members, including a 13-year-old boy, but the leader, a local councillor, remain at large. The cult began as an attempt to curb extortion by self-proclaimed sorcerers who were demanding money from sick people. But the anti-witchcraft activists began to believe they had special powers to detect sorcerers. ”Sorcery was getting out of hand in the villages,” a local political activist told The Sydney Morning Herald. ”It used to be a good thing, but now it’s turned into a kind of cult. They killed [the first victim] on the roadside. They cut out his heart, they cut out his brains they drank his blood.”
Belief in sorcery and witchcraft is widespread in the Pacific nation, which has a Sorcery Act aimed at preventing attacks on people accused of practicing black magic. The series of attacks by the 500-member cult has disrupted elections and added to delays of the two—week ballot which was due to end on Friday. Allegations of bribery and vote rigging, as well as difficulties in accessing ballot boxes from remote provinces, have added to the delays. Voting may end next week.
Full Article: Cannibal killers delay Papua New Guinea poll – Telegraph.