http://www.digitaljournal.com/news/world/angry-mob-in-guatemala-beat-and-then-burn-16-year-old-girl-alive/article/434399

Angry mob in Guatemala beat and then burn 16-year-old girl alive

Posted May 28, 2015 by Karen Graham
An angry mob of over 100 people, including young children, stood back and watched as some members of the group beat a 16-year-old-girl bloody, knocked her to the ground and then set her on fire. VIDEO HAS BEEN EDITED
Mob beats and burns 16-year-old girl in Guatemala.
Mob beats and burns 16-year-old girl in Guatemala.
Screengrab via Youtube / International News Co.
The girl was reportedly beaten and set on fire by a mob for her alleged involvement with a group who had attacked, robbed and killed a motorcycle taxi driver earlier this month in the village of Rio Bravo, about 125 kilometers from the capital in Guatemala.
According to Telecinco.es, the girl was a member of a gang, and along with two men had been accused of killing 68-year-old taxi driver Enrique González Noriega. The two men were with her when the mob hunted them down, but the men escaped through some back alleyways, leaving the girl to the will of the mob.
The gruesome video of what some are calling vigilante justice is something that goes on quite often in the Central American country. The video, lasting a good five minutes, went viral on YouTube today before being taken down.
The video opens with the young girl crouching in the middle of the town square, surrounded by a large mob of people, obviously shouting at her. You can see she is bloodied, but she stands up and tries to get away, but a woman grabs her and the girl is beaten some more.
She again falls to the ground, bloodied even more, pulling herself into a fetal position. Several hands are seen in closeup, squirting a liquid on her, and then suddenly, she is on fire. For one or two minutes, the viewer is allowed to watch the girl withering and rolling back and forth, and then finally, she lies on her back as the flames die down.
At this point, a man in a white shirt runs up and pours what is obviously a flammable liquid on the girl's stomach, and she erupts in a fireball. The video winds down as the child burns and the flames finally subside.
Mob vigilantism in Central and South America
There was a wave of mob attacks last year, and President Otto Perez Molina told media it was a problem of not having enough police officers patrolling the population that created the problem. But some analysts describe the mob justice as being more of a response to people being mistrustful and afraid of the police or any authority.
Mario Polanco, of Guatemala's Grupo de Apoyo Mutuo human rights organization, says there have already been over 20 similar mob attacks this year alone. Yet, in a media report January 2014, it was said that neither Human Rights Watch nor Amnesty International actually tracks statistics on lynchings, as mob vigilantism is called.
But lynching is practiced in a number of South and Central American countries, including Bolivia, Guatemala, Mexico, and Peru. Griselda Sillerico, of Bolivia’s official human rights watchdog, estimates there were 70 lynching attacks in 2013, with 30 people losing their lives.
Surprisingly, one country that does have statistics on mob vigilantism is Guatemala. According to the country's human rights prosecutor’s office, 47 people died and another 441 were hurt in lynchings in 2013. The most common reason for a lynching is allegedly planning a robbery, but of course, pedophiles, murderers, and rapists are also targeted.
Fredy Torrico, public prosecutor for Cochabamba, in central Bolivia, describes a lynching as a "macabre ritual." The victim is dragged into the middle of the town square, and this is where the beating and other abuses take place. The beating, stripping and whipping of the victim can sometimes last for hours. “It often ends with the person being burned alive or hanged.”