Mourners in La Paz, Bolivia, seized a 17-year-old man who had been named by police as a suspect in the murder and rape of a 35-year-old woman and buried him alive alongside her at a funeral ceremony.
Inhabitants of La Paz, a small town near the Colquechaca municipality in Bolivia’s Potosi district, were infuriated at the news that Santos Ramos may have been responsible for the death of 35-year-old Leandra Arias Janco, the Daily Mail reports. A mob of about 200 people reportedly buried Ramos alive in Janco’s grave.
Bolivian prosecutor Jose Luis Barrios said Thursday that local police had named Ramos as a suspect in the rape and murder, the Daily Mail reports. An anonymous local reporter told the media that Ramos had been tied by villagers at Janco’s funeral, who then buried him alive.
The chief prosecutor added that the mob purposely blocked the roads leading to Janco’s funeral, in an attempt to prevent authorities from arriving on the scene, BBC reports. The attackers reportedly threw Ramos into an open grave and then filled the hole with dirt.
Angry mobs are not uncommon in isolated, destitute areas of Bolivia, the BBC notes. Lynchings often occur in regions where police and other authorities are scarce. Earlier this year, a Bolivian police officer was lynched in the city of El Alto after being mistaken for a thief.
Bolivia’s Potosi district was the scene of a similar attack on Wednesday, the BBC reports. Residents of the Quechua community of Tres Cruces reportedly stoned a suspected thief to death and burned his accomplice alive, Barrios said.