The mayor of a small town in Guatemala was dragged out of his home, beaten and then burned alive by a mob acting on behalf of his political rival.
Basilio Juracan, who just last month was reelected mayor of Concepcion, a town 100 miles west of Guatemala City, was the target of a methodical house-by-house search by the enraged men, who during their hunt set three houses and two vehicles on fire.
When Juracan was finally located, the mob beat him and then poured gasoline on him and lit a match. One of his sons was hacked with a machete and was being treated at a local hospital, La Prensa Grafica, Guatemala’s leading newspaper, reported Monday.
The 43-year-old mayor was attacked Sunday afternoon.
Some residents believe earlier that day he was involved in an attack involving Lorenzo Sequec, a former mayoral candidate who was stopped and ambushed while he was traveling with family members in a pickup truck.
Hours before Juracan was killed, unidentified gunmen, believed to be sent by the mayor, stepped out of a vehicle and opened fire on Sequec's truck. While he survived, his teenage daughter and niece died in the gunfire. Four other people were injured.
According to La Prensa Grafica, Juracan was angry because Sequec had been accusing him of misusing city funds and was pushing for a police investigation.
The triangle of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras is now considered to be the most violent non-war zone on the planet.
Between January and May, there were 2,343 murders in Guatemala, according to figures released Tuesday by the state National Institute of Forensic Sciences, or Inacif. Last year, there was an average of 15.5 homicides a day.
The AP and EFE contributed to this report.