More unfounded accusations of child snatching resulted in the death yesterday of an agent of the Hidalgo prosecutor’s office in the municipality of Metepec.
Rumors about people taking photographs of children led to the arrest of four men yesterday morning, but soon after a crowd of about 100 people gathered at municipal police headquarters where they were able to take custody of the four alleged kidnappers.
The men were beaten and one was set on fire.
They were subsequently rescued by state police and transported to the Red Cross at Tulancingo but it was too late for the burn victim, who was declared dead.
The state Attorney General’s office later confirmed the dead man was an agent of the Tulancingo public prosecutor’s office.
A similar accusation cost the lives of a couple in the same state on August 31.
The man and woman were attacked and then set on fire by a mob in Tula de Allende. Authorities confirmed later that the accusations against the couple had been false. The lynching orphaned three children.
There have been at least nine lynching attempts in Hidalgo so far this year.
In response, the state government created a response team led by a state police coordinator and tasked with rescuing people at risk of being lynched.
The state Public Security Secretariat issued a report last week asserting that no gangs of child snatchers had been detected operating in Hidalgo.
The department also said “false red alerts” were issued online by unknown individuals, who grab publicly published photographs of local children and then post false missing children notices.