Three suspected kidnappers were lynched by a mob in Chalco, a city in Mexico state, which surrounds the Federal District and forms part of the Mexico City metropolitan area, officials said.
A total of 23 people have been arrested in connection with the killings in San Mateo Huitzilzingo, a community in Chalco, Mexico state Attorney General Alfredo Castillo said.
The incident occurred around 9:30 p.m. Friday, when residents intervened and stopped an alleged attempt to kidnap some high school students.
Residents grabbed the three suspected kidnappers and burned them alive in an automobile.
Two of the victims died inside the vehicle and the third died while being treated at a hospital.
“The initial investigation that has been conducted identified a group of six women who incited the residents to lynch three men, who were set on fire,” the Mexico state Attorney General’s Office said in a statement.
The six women range in age from 26 to 50, Castillo and State Security Agency chief Salvador Neme said.
Seventeen male suspects, including three minors, were detained and will be taken to the prosecutor’s office in Amecameca to give statements, the AG’s office said.
Investigators are still gathering evidence in the case and have not ruled out additional arrests.
Residents often take the law into their own hands in Mexico, claiming that they do not trust police and are fed up with the high crime rate.