Hundreds of people took to the streets in Venustiano Carranza, Chiapas, Wednesday night after rumors spread on social media that the government was trying to kill them.
Around midnight Wednesday and into the early hours of today, residents went on a rampage provoked by false reports that the municipal government was using drones to spray a deadly chemical at residents who do not believe that the coronavirus exists.
Angry mobs of citizens armed with sticks and stones looted an Elektra department store and burned down the home of Mayor Amando Trujillo Ancheyta, that of his in-laws, as well as the residence of Chiapas Governor Rutilio Escandón’s elderly mother, who escaped the blaze unharmed.
Streets were blocked off and vehicles belonging to medical personnel were looted and burned.
Residents were enraged by social-distancing measures and the municipal government’s crackdown on those who refused to follow sanitary guidelines as confirmed cases of the coronavirus mounted.
The message disseminated on WhatsApp and Facebook said that a community member had shot down a drone and discovered it was carrying a box of white powder, said to be Paraquat, a highly toxic herbicide.
Some residents said that the mayor was using the herbicide to kill them, decried the existence of the coronavirus and believe that a local saint, “El Señor del Pozo,” would protect them from sickness, just as he is believed to have cured a woman of leprosy in the 1690s.
Source: El Universal (sp)