Three suspected car thieves were captured by residents of a Chiapas town early this morning and killed by angry residents.
The lynching followed an alleged theft attempt by the three men of a vehicle owned by a resident of Chiapilla, a town in the central region of the state.
The owner of the vehicle called police after encountering the thieves at about 3:00am and the three suspects were detained. But police said they could do nothing because the robbery had not succeeded and the thieves had not been caught red-handed.
The men were freed but later taken into police custody once again, but this time for their protection after residents, angry that the presumed criminals had been set free, began threatening a lynching.
However, the latter succeeded in removing the three men from the police vehicle where they were being held, beaten to death and set on fire with gasoline at a security booth in the entrance to town.
Police officers said later they had attempted to negotiate with the crowd, estimated to number 400 people, but were warned they too would be lynched if they interfered.
At daybreak this morning, three hours after the incident, the charred bodies remained at the security booth.
There are more lynchings in Chiapas than any other state. The newspaper Milenio reported there have been 16 since the year 2000.
Source: Milenio (sp), Via Libre Chiapas (sp)