A Oaxaca banner offers warning to thieves. A Oaxaca banner offers warning to thieves.

Signs warn thieves they will be lynched

Tired of thefts, Oaxaca citizens issue warning to perpetrators

Thieves beware: there’s a lynch mob waiting for you in Oaxaca city.

“Thief, if we catch you, we’ll lynch you,” read a banner that was hung over a city street this week, signed by “vigilant neighbors united against delinquency.”

It is one of many that have appeared in the Oaxaca state capital in response to an increase in theft.

Is the threat of lynching an empty one? Perhaps not, judging by statistics indicating that the number of lynchings doubled during 2017 in the city and neighboring municipalities, compared to last year’s figures.

Local news media have reported 56 cases of attempted and completed lynchings, resulting in the deaths of 11 alleged criminals.

One of the most recent attempted lynchings took place two nights ago in the La Fundición neighborhood. Residents caught an alleged auto parts thief red-handed, and word soon spread for several blocks around.

An angry mob gathered and stripped the alleged criminal before beating him and tying him to a utility pole. The entire incident was recorded on video.

The fate of the supposed delinquent was decided when police arrived and rescued the man from the hands of the mob.

Over the last week, four attempted lynchings were reported in the greater Oaxaca city area: two in the municipalities of Santa María Atzompa and Zimatlán de Álvarez, and two more in the city itself, one of which was in the city’s historic center.

Nearby store owners have reported several thefts over the last month. They claim that police patrols in the area are all but nonexistent, and that authorities have done nothing in response to the situation.

Source: El Universal (sp)

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