December 1, 2001

Mob stones brothers to death in Guatemala

                 GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala (AP) -- Hundreds of people in an isolated
                 mountain town stoned to death two brothers thought to be behind a string of
                 local robberies, police said Saturday.

                 Business-owner Tomas Tol said Carlos and Moises Morales, ages 26 and 27, burst
                 into his general store in the largely Indian village of Pocojil late Friday night.
                 Wielding machetes, the pair tried to rape his daughter before making off with a
                 large sum of cash, Tol said.

                 Tol said Friday's attack was the latest in a string of local muggings and robberies,
                 all believed to have been carried out by the same two people.

                 As word of the latest robbery spread, hundreds of locals in the village 190 miles
                 (300 kilometers) north of Guatemala City, gathered to scour the nearby highway
                 for the fleeing brothers.

                 A large group of locals caught the pair a short time later and held them until
                 hundreds more people arrived. The mob then threw stones, sticks and piece of
                 cinderblock at their hostages until they died, police said.

                 According to the United Nations Mission to Guatemala, 65 mob attacks have now
                 claimed 25 victims in this country so far this year.

                 Vigilante violence has become increasingly common in the five years since peace
                 accords put an end to a bloody civil war which pitted leftist, mostly Indian
                 guerrillas against hardline state forces and killed 200,000 Guatemalans.

                  Copyright 2001 The Associated Press.