Enraged residents of an Indian community in northern Guatemala lynched three presumed kidnappers while a fourth man managed to save himself and was admitted to a hospital, authorities said Sunday.
A spokesman for the National Civil Police of Quiche told reporters that the violent incidents took place Saturday night in the village of San Antonio, populated by Ixcan Indians, some 318 kilometers (197 miles) north of Guatemala City, when a group of residents captured the alleged kidnappers.
"According to the townspeople, a community leader was kidnapped on Friday by armed men who intended to collect ransom for his release. This got the villagers to organize themselves and they began their search" for the criminals, the spokesman said.
On Saturday afternoon, the villagers captured four men whom they identified as members of the group of kidnappers, three of whom were "beaten, burned and killed" by the mob.
One other man, after suffering serious burns, managed to get away from the mob and was rescued by emergency personnel, who took him to a local medical center.
A report presented on June 22 by the non-governmental Mutual Support Group said that lynchings increased by 38.5 percent in the first five months of 2013 compared to the same period last year.
According to the study, between January and May 2013 there were 90 lynchings, or 25 more than during the same time span in 2012. EFE