Guatemalan vigilantes torch man who beheaded boy, 13

Teachers and residents jump on primary school killer in latest vigilante lynch mob retribution

LAST UPDATED AT 13:41 ON Fri 14 Sep 2012

A VIGILANTE mob in Guatemala has taken deadly revenge against a man who allegedly killed two primary school children with a machete, beheading a boy and slitting the throat of a girl.

According to the country's interior minister Mauricio Lopez Bonilla, a 35-year-old drunken man - named as Julio Saquil - walked into a primary school in Tactic, Alta Verapaz and killed a young girl and teenage boy.  A mob, reportedly made up of teachers and local residents, then doused the man in gasoline and set him on fire on the school's patio, where he burned to death.
 
"He walked into one of the classrooms and assaulted the students, completely beheading a 13-year-old boy and slitting the throat of an eight-year-old girl with a machete," a firefighter said. Authorities identified the pupils as Juan Armando Coy Cal, 13 and Evelyn Yanisa Saquij Bin, eight.
 
Local security officials said the dead man had a history of drug problems and violence, but they are yet to identify a motive for the attack. The father of one of the victims told a local radio station that he believed Saquil was a gang member and had already been in prison.
 
Photographs taken at the scene show men and and women seeking brutal retribution for the drunken man’s alleged crime.
 
Lynch mobs are not uncommon in areas of Guatemala where police are scarce, reports the Daily Mail. The country's human rights agency says 234 attempted lynchings took place in 2011 and at least 40 people were killed.
 
Another man was burned to death last month after allegedly shooting a man and his son in a suburb of Guatemala City. In a separate incident, four men suspected of thieving were captured and beaten by angry residents.
 
Vigilante justice is said to have become a widespread phenomenon in Guatemala since 1996, when peace accords were signed to end the country's 36-year civil war. · 

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