Candoshi Tribal Killing in Peru

by | Nov 20, 2023

Candoshi Tribal Killing in Peru

Clif Russell, missionary for Calvary Chapel, has been working in the Amazon Rainforest for a organization in Peru called Avivamiento.

On 1 October, a young man was murdered by a Candoshi Indian in a remote village in the Peruvian jungle. A group of young men were wasting time hanging out until things got serious. A fight broke out over an issue that started among them, and it got so bad that the group of men ended up killing a young man in the process. This is a big problem between tribal groups in Peru. According to their customs, if a person kills another village member, the victims of the one killed will avenge the rest of his family and even other friends of the family as well. This can cause multiple killings to happen until the murderers fulfill their vengeance. In these cases, they do not care to make sure that the right person gets convicted for their crimes. The killings will occur regardless of whether the innocent are involved or not.

In this case, Cunambi’s son was accused of killing the young man. Cunambi is a Pastor and trip leader of the Candoshi village. This means many members of his family can be killed in a tribal war. Even though there is proof that Cunambi’s son was not even close to where the killing happened, a tribal war could still break out. This war caused great fear during the entire Candoshi trip; now, anyone could be part of the problem. The warriors (25-30 men) have had war paint on with their guns ready for the last two weeks, waiting to find the killer and his family members.

Pastor Julio

On the 15th of October, Julio Cesar (Clif Russel’s main man) was traveling the rivers, waiting and encouraging pastors to arrive for the pastor’s conference that was scheduled to happen in two days. Julio learned from Cunambi (the village pastor) that the situation with the warriors was dire, and they needed the Lord to intervene and bring peace.

Praise God, Julio and Clif have been working very hard to change the lives of the Candoshi Indians. The Candoshi respect the missionaries and have heard Jesus Christ and His gift of salvation and forgiveness. The warriors had been waiting all along the river to try and ambush Cunambi and his family, but he knew of their need for salvation and redemption. So Julio and Cunambi prayerfully went upriver by canoe to approach the warriors. Praise God, the warriors finally conceded after some time and decided that Cunambi and his son were innocent. Julio knew that he had to show no fear, and he prayed like crazy and asked the Holy Spirit for peace. These men were very ready to kill everyone. When these situations happen, these men get so worked up they become almost possessed and lose all rationality. Only through God’s grace was the problem resolved. However, the warriors are still searching for the young man who ultimately was responsible for the killing. Blood will be shed unless these warriors receive Christ by God’s grace.

Pastor Cunambi

Two days before the conference, you could feel the tension and fear in the air. Clif, Ed, Pete Felix, and the rest of the team were ready and excited for the teaching and anxiously awaiting the different indigenous pastors’ arrival. As we started the conference, only 30 of the 60-70 pastors arrived. A few even came with their guns on their shoulders, ready to fight if need be.

We started the conference even though we were discouraged. However, God did amazing work as the teaching began on the first day. Each of the lessons taught ended up being exactly what these men needed. We focused on forgiveness, humbleness, strength, integrity, sin, and a strong foundation in God’s Word. This all ended up being a huge blessing for the pastors that came. The group grew to about 45 pastors, and some of their wives came as well. One wife gave her life to Christ!

Pastors Conference

God was so good to complete the work He wanted to do at this conference. Clif, Julio, and the others know that God is going to do great things in the lives of these men and women who came! Please continue to pray for the encouragement of these indigenous pastors as they continue to serve Christ our Lord!