Latin America & Caribbean

Guatemala indigenous group lynches six murder suspects

Map of Guatemala
Image caption The lynchings happened some 220km (135 miles) north of the capital, Guatemala City

Six people have been lynched and killed by members of an indigenous community in northern Guatemala, officials say.

Emergency services said local residents of San Pedro Carcha in Alta Verapaz province marched five men and a woman to a corn field, where they were beaten, blindfolded and shot dead.

The villagers suspected the six of killing a local businessman.

Prosecutors say 194 people have been lynched since 2004, mainly in areas where there was little police presence.

Guatemala's Prosecutors Office for Human Rights says the cases of lynchings have been rising year on year, with a marked increase in indigenous communities, where there is little trust in the authorities.

In the latest case, villagers tracked down a man known as The Clown, who they believed was behind the murder of local businessman Nicolas Choc on Thursday.

They beat him until he confessed and revealed the names of his five alleged accomplices, who were then also hunted down and shot dead.

Police said the locals prevented them from entering the village, but did allow emergency services to take the bodies to the morgue.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites