Police stepped in and prevented the lynching of two people last night in Papantla, Veraruz.
Local citizens apprehended two people traveling in a taxi from nearby Poza Rica and accused them of being child snatchers.
The driver of the taxi explained that his passenger was his wife and an eye doctor and had been called by some local residents to conduct vision tests.
But the story didn’t wash with the presumed leader of the group of residents, an older man wearing a mask, according to a report by the digital newspaper e-consulta. The taxi was set on fire and the couple were beaten, tied up and threatened with being set on fire as well.
Police arrived at that point and attempted to negotiate the release of the two captives, but the lynch mob declined. Police called in reinforcements and rescued the couple.
It was the 41st time this year that would-be lynching victims were rescued by authorities, and the third lynching incident in the past week. In the other two cases, four people were burned alive in Puebla and Hidalgo.
Following those incidents, the National Human Rights Commission issued a call on Saturday for authorities to conduct a thorough investigation and punish the instigators.
Commission chief Luis Raúl González Pérez warned that as long as the state does not fulfil its obligations to prevent impunity and provide the minimal conditions for security there will be distrust of institutions and desperation among citizens to see justice served.
The situation, he said, leaves the door open for more lynchings.
The commission said there have been 25 deaths from lynching so far this year.