A suspected burglar was lynched in Puebla yesterday, becoming the 16th victim of deadly mob justice in the state this year.
According to authorities, residents of the Jorge Murad neighborhood in the state capital caught an approximately 20-year-old man trying to break into a house early yesterday morning.
They detained the young man, tied him to a post and beat him to death.
The vigilantes abandoned the victim’s near-naked body with a sign on his chest that read: “This happened to me for being a ratero [thief].”
Puebla Mayor Claudia Rivera said that no emergency calls were made to alert authorities to the incident, which occurred near Puebla’s largest market.
“We found out through the media. The police were the first to respond . . . As soon as we were notified, an operation was launched in the area,” she said.
Rivera added that the state Attorney General’s office will be in charge of the investigation to identify and locate those responsible for the crime.
During 2018, there have been 183 attempted lynchings in Puebla and police have prevented the deaths of 203 people targeted by angry mobs, according to the state Secretariat of Public Security (SSP).
The highest number of cases have occurred in the municipalities of Puebla, San Martín Texmelucan, Acajete and Amozoc.
The targets of the attempted lynchings have been accused of committing crimes including robbery, rape, assaults and kidnapping.
Two suspected child snatchers were beaten and burned alive by angry citizens of a town in the Puebla municipality of Acatlán de Osorio in August. A day later, two more people were killed in the same fashion in Hidalgo.
Behind those lynchings was hysteria whipped up by fake messages circulating on social media which supposedly served to alert citizens that a wave of kidnappings was taking place.
The SSP said that in 40% of attempted lynching cases this year, the perpetrators had no proof that their targets had actually committed the crime they were accused of.
Source: El Universal (sp)