Three suspected rapists were killed by an enraged mob in a community in the northwestern province of Huehuetenango, Guatemala’s PNC national police said Monday.
The incident occurred in Yalamciop, a village near the town of San Mateo Ixtatan, where residents burned alive three men whom they had accused of rape and kidnapping.
The trio - identified as brothers Enrique, 26, and Rigoberto Martinez Ramos, 18, and their nephew, 18-year-old Leonardo Herrera - were tied to a tree and burned alive, the deputy provincial police chief, Henry Delgado, told the media.
PNC officers tried to intervene and prevent the lynching but without success, authorities said.
Delgado said that the three men were captured last Saturday by a local mob.
A representative from the national ombudsman’s office in Huehuetenango, Erick Villatoro, said the lynching was regrettable and added that “they are an incorrect way of applying justice.”
Vigilante justice as a widespread phenomenon dates from the 1996 signing of peace accords that ended Guatemala’s 36-year civil war.
The toll from lynchings in 2013 was 36 dead and 173 injured, according to figures compiled by the Mutual Support Group, a human rights watchdog.