Guatemalan villagers hack rural judge to death
GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala (Reuters) -- A mob of more than 1,000
villagers hacked a rural judge to death and burned his remains in northern
Guatemala Tuesday after he acquitted an alleged rapist, police officials said.
Residents of Senahu, 231 miles north of Guatemala City, confronted Judge
Martinez about the verdict, then attacked him with machetes and sticks after he
fired into the crowd fearing for his life, National Civil Police spokesman Faustino
Sanchez told Reuters.
Sanchez said two people were injured.
"They (the crowd) killed him with sticks and machetes and then, when they
tired of that, they crushed him up with stones and set fire to what was left,"
The crowd also took four local police officers hostage but they were later
released, Sanchez said. Police were still trying to calm the villagers, who seized
six assault rifles and six pistols.
"They want a village without law," Sanchez said, noting the villagers had
demanded all police and prosecutors withdraw permanently from the village,
which has 12,000 inhabitants.
Mob attacks are common in parts of rural Guatemala, which bore the brunt
the violence during the country's 36-year civil war between the government and
leftist guerrillas that ended with 1996 peace accords.
Mob justice had claimed at least three lives in the country so far this
Copyright 2001 Reuters.