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  HOME | Bolivia

Mob in Bolivia Burns Accused Murderer Alive

LA PAZ – A 30-year-old man accused of raping and murdering a woman in the eastern province of Santa Cruz was seized by a mob and burned to death, Bolivian authorities said on Wednesday.

The lynching victim has been identified as Dario Ribero Maldonado, police Col. Octavio Gutierrez told reporters.

Police had sought him for questioning in connection with a May 25 rape-murder in Montero.

Ribero’s body, bound with barbed wire, was recovered Wednesday from a common grave, El Mundo newspaper said in its Web edition.

The accused killer was captured by vigilantes after his return to Montero on Monday.

The mob tortured Ribero before taking him to the cemetery, dumping him in the common grave and setting him on fire, according to the police report.

Montero residents delayed authorities’ efforts to recover the body and are refusing to cooperate with the investigation, police said.

People taking the law into their own hands is fairly common in rural Bolivia, especially in remote indigenous villages.

Bolivia’s 2009 constitution explicitly recognizes “community justice,” but officials have insisted repeatedly that the charter does not legalize lynching or vigilantism.

Anywhere from 10 to 20 people are killed by lynch mobs every year, Bolivian human rights organizations say.

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