Bolivian villagers bury rape suspect alive
Teenager (17) thrown into grave of woman he was accused of killing
The youth was killed in the town of Colquechaca, some 300km south east of Bolivia’s capital La Paz. Photograph: Google Maps
Villagers in Bolivia’s southern highlands buried a teenager alive in the grave of the woman he was suspected of having raped and murdered.
Police had identified Santos Ramos (17), as the possible culprit in the attack on 35-year-old Leandra Arias Janco on Sunday in a Quechua community near the district of Colquechaca, said Jose Luis Barrios, the chief prosecutor in Potosi province.
Enraged, more than 200 community members seized Ramos and buried him alive alongside his alleged victim on Wednesday night, according to Mr Barrios. He said residents blocked the road to the community yesterday, preventing police and prosecutors from reaching it.
A local reporter for an indigenous radio station, who did not want to be named for fear of reprisals, said Ramos was tied up at the woman’s funeral. Mourners threw him into the open grave, placed the woman’s coffin in it and filled the grave with earth.
Colquechaca is a town of 5,000 people some 300km south east of Bolivia’s capital La Paz.
On Wednesday people in the Quechua indigenous community of Tres Cruces stoned to death a suspected thief and burned his accomplice alive, Mr Barrios said. The two had earlier robbed a car and killed its driver.
Lynchings sometimes occur in rural and poor parts of Bolivia where police and other authorities are scarce.