A woman was slain and her body burned after being accused of casting spells against other women in the northwestern Colombian province of Antioquia.

The victim was Maria Verenice Martinez, 47, who was struck on the head with a blunt object and then set afire in the municipality of Santa Barbara.

Though details of the crime have not yet come to light, some of the victim's neighbors told the media that the woman had her clothes ripped off, her hair torn out and was then burned.

In an interview on Caracol Radio, Martinez's sister, who identified herself as Sandra, said that a witch doctor had set the town against Maria, whom some members of the community accused of "casting spells, appearing in people's dreams and driving them mad."

The first act of violence against Martinez occurred several months ago when someone struck her in front of her house.

The mayor of Santa Barbara, Jorge Hernan Ramirez, said that this was not the first such crime perpetrated in his municipality, in that six years ago another woman was also charged with witchcraft and was subsequently murdered. EFE