MEXICO CITY – Authorities announced the arrest of one of the chief suspects in the lynching of three people, including two teenagers, last week in a small town in central Mexico.
Oscar Vargas, who was presented to the media, allegedly purchased the gasoline used to torch a vehicle in which the three suspected kidnappers were trapped.
Mexico state Attorney General Alfredo Castillo told reporters Wednesday that security camera footage at a gas station showed the 33-year-old suspect filling up a container with the fuel. Vargas also confessed to investigators that he set the fire.
Last Friday, a group of residents of San Mateo Huitzilzingo beat and set ablaze three accused kidnappers: 16-year-olds Luis Alberto Cardenas Hernandez and Raul Aboytes Garcia and 26-year-old Jose Manuel Mendoza Gil.
After the lynching, authorities detained 23 suspects and are still searching for others believed to have participated in the vigilante violence.
Castillo said the initial probe indicates the murders stemmed from a dispute between one of the victims and another minor over a teenage girl.
Witnesses told investigators that a day prior to the lynching the three victims tried to intimidate the rival teen, the state attorney general said.
The minor got away and told members of his family, who beat the aggressors the following day and handed them over to local authorities while also spreading the rumor that the three were “burglars and kidnappers.”
A group of angry local residents gathered to attack the three suspected criminals and the incident escalated into a lynching.
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.
About a dozen attempted lynchings have been reported so far this year in Mexico state. EFE