A Guatemalan vigilante mob is credited with taking justice into their own hands when they lynched and then burned alive an accused child killer. Interior Minister Mauricio Lopez Bonilla reports that Julio Saquil, 35, went into the Alta Verapaz school while drunk and slit the throats of two children with a machete, according to the Daily Mail. The official also noted that, after the incident, a citizen mob then took the suspected murderer to the patio at the school and set him on fire.
Local law enforcement officers report that Saquil had a history of violence and drug problems, but they do not yet have any idea what motivated the child murders at the northern province school. Saquil’s burnt body was left in the school courtyard for others to view until removed by authorities.
Tactical firefighter Wilson Cahuec had this to say about the incident:
“He walked into one of the classrooms and assaulted the students, completely beheading a 13-year-old boy and slitting the throat of an 8-year-old girl with a machete.”
The slain students have been identified as Evelyn Yanisa Saquij Bin and Juan Armando Coy Cal. Defensive wounds were present on the dead bodies. Newser notes the angry mob that set the accused child killer on fire was comprised of both teachers and Alta Verapaz residents.
Lynch mobs are reportedly not uncommon in sections of Guatemala where law enforcement officers are scarce. Statistics offered by the country’s human rights agency reveal that 234 attempted lynchings took place last year, and at least 40 people were killed during such acts of deadly revenge.