A former political consultant was lynched in Puebla on Friday night by a 200-strong mob that said they confused him for a criminal, according to local authorities.
Daniel Picazo, 31, had worked as a consultant for National Action Party (PAN) federal Deputy Joanna Torres in the Chamber of Deputies until March. He was beaten and killed on the municipal sports field in Papatlazolco in the municipality of Huauchinango in the Puebla Northern Sierra.
There are conflicting reports about how Picazo died. The newspaper El Universal said he was beaten to death before his body was burned, while the newspaper Reforma and the news site ADN 40 reported that he was burned alive.
Picazo was traveling with one other man who managed to escape.
The municipal government of Huauchinango said in a statement that municipal police officers found Picazo detained by around 30 people and that the officers attempted to free Picazo, but he was wrested from them and taken to the sports field where “more than 200 people started to brutally beat” him. The statement added that the mob burned Picazo’s pickup truck after he was murdered.
The municipal government “strongly condemns this act and reiterates that criminal acts must be judged under the procedures of our rule of law … justice by its own hand is not justice, but barbarism,” the statement said.
A Citizens Movement (MC) consultant in the Senate who said she did her social service with Picazo was quoted anonymously by Reforma rejecting that Picazo was a “child kidnapper,” as he was accused before his murder. “He was a good boy, 31 years old, a great guy from a humble family. He was one of those determined kind of guys,” she said.
The consultant added that Picazo liked traveling and “was in the wrong place at the wrong time.” She said Picazo had studied in Spain and worked with former Tlaxcala senator Adriana Dávila and later in the Chamber of Deputies with Torres.
Attempted lynchings aren’t new to Huauchinango. The municipality has seen nine in the last two years, according to El Universal. Eight of those attempts were in 2020 and one was in November last year.
Lynching attempts are also unusually common at the state level. The newspaper Milenio reported in January that Puebla was the second worst state in the country for attempted lynchings, behind México state.