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A kidnapping suspect hangs from a tree in the central square in Cohuecan A kidnapping suspect hangs from a tree in the central square in Cohuecan. The bodies of other victims were left nearby.

7 suspected kidnappers rounded up and lynched in Puebla

A total of 16 people have been killed by mob justice in the state this year

Seven suspected kidnappers were killed by residents of the Puebla municipalities of Cohuecan and Tepexco on Wednesday.

According to police reports, the incident started on Wednesday morning when two subjects kidnapped a man identified as Armando Pérez Contreras, a landowner in Tepexco, as he was driving in a pickup truck.

As they were fleeing, the kidnappers met up with two other accomplices and stole a second truck, killing its driver in the process. After they arrived in Cohuecan, a crowd was able to stop the truck and capture two of the kidnappers, whom they killed by hanging them from a tree.

The other two kidnappers were able to escape the crowd and were arrested by municipal police. But the crowd, which had swelled to as many as 180, determined where the suspects were being held and forced the police to turn them over. After the two captives were forced to give up the name of their boss, they were beaten to death.

The mob then found the alleged boss, and beat him to death too.

But the lynching wasn’t over yet.

Several hours later, angry citizens attacked a police station, removed two people who were suspected of being involved in the kidnapping gang and hanged them.

One of the seven victims has been identified as a 16-year-old.

Puebla Government Secretary Fernando Manzanilla condemned the events, telling a press conference there will be an investigation into the killings and that those responsible will be punished.

“No one can take justice into their own hands,” he said. “These actions are not justifiable, and we ask that the public have trust in our institutions.”

Manzanilla added that the National Guard, the army and state police will remain deployed in the area as authorities take back control.

“The government has decided that state and federal forces will remain in the region with the goal of maintaining peace,” he said.

There have been 180 attempted lynchings in the state this year. Sixteen people have been killed and 209 rescued.

Source: El Universal (sp), El Sol de Puebla (sp), Animal Político (sp)

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