The Miami Herald
September 4, 1999

Ecuador teen burned alive after vigilante trial

 QUITO, Ecuador -- (AP) -- A 15-year-old boy, accused of robbing houses and
 beating his mother, was burned alive by a mob in the public square of a remote
 village after a six-hour vigilante trial, authorities said Friday.

 The mob execution occurred Wednesday night in the village of La Chimba, a
 half-hour drive from the city of Cayambe, 31 miles northeast of the capital, Quito.

 Police said the boy, William Iguamba, was grabbed in Cayambe's central plaza
 by a crowd of about 50 people and brought to La Chimba, where he was chained
 to a post in the central square.

 There, about 600 Indians from four surrounding communities spent six hours
 deciding the boy's guilt, and ultimately burned him alive, police said.

 His burnt corpse remained on display for 12 hours before a collection was started
 among his executioners to pay for a coffin and burial.

 Villagers justified the vigilante justice, telling police Iguamba had had started
 robbing when he was 11 years old. They claimed the boy had received three prior
 warnings from village tribunals.

 No arrests were made.

 The boy's death was about the twelfth mob execution or beating this year in
 Ecuador, where villagers and urban slum dwellers criticize the legal system for
 failing to catch and punish criminals.