GUATEMALA CITY – A mob of Indians lynched two suspected thieves in Guatemala’s northwestern Huehuetenango province, the National Civil Police reported Sunday.
Authorities said that the lynching took place on Saturday in the municipality of La Libertad, with the enraged mob beating and stoning two brothers – ages 20 and 21 – to death.
The mob attacked the two men, police said, after they were accused of looting a business in the area.
The alleged thieves were pelted with stones and beaten by local residents until they died, and police said they were unable to intervene in time to save their lives.
Police also said, however, that the two men had not committed any crime and were sitting peacefully outside when they were attacked by the angry mob.
Authorities have not taken any of the townspeople into custody so far.
Statistics compiled by the non-governmental organization Grupo de Apoyo Mutuo (Mutual Support Group), or GAM, indicate that during 2010 more than 100 lynchings were carried out in this Central American country and 39 people died in those incidents.
Lynchings began to be committed in Guatemala in the mid-1990s and they occur mainly in isolated communities where the security forces and judicial authorities are not much in evidence.