GUATEMALA CITY – A man suspected of extortion and rape was beaten to death Wednesday by a mob in the northwestern province of Huehuetenango, Guatemalan police said.
The incident occurred in the indigenous community of Santa Cruz Barrillas, where vigilantes set upon three men they accused of extorting and raping at least two local women, police spokesman Donald Gonzalez told reporters in the capital.
One of the three men, 19-year-old Nicolas Juan, died of his injuries. The other two survived and were handed over to police after some negotiations.
Nearly 40 Guatemalans have died and 80 others have been injured so far this year in incidents of vigilante justice, according to official figures.
More than 600 lynchings have taken place in Guatemala since the 1996 signing of peace accords that ended the country’s 36-year civil war.
The absence of police in isolated communities and pervasive distrust of the judicial system are the main reasons for the rising number of lynchings in the Central American nation, analysts say. EFE