Residents of a village in the eastern Mexican state of Veracruz attempted to lynch police officers they accused of killing a neighbor and burned patrol cars and government headquarters, authorities said Saturday.
The events occurred between Friday night and Saturday morning in the municipality of Lerdo de Tejada, southern Veracruz, as residents protested against the alleged police-inflicted death of 27-year-old Brando Arellano Cruz.
Residents attacked police and caused unrest, AFP noted.
Delfino Arellano, the victim's father, told the media that police officers shot his son in the back as he drove his car, even though he had already stopped in full view of officers following him.
“These people treat us like criminals,” said Mr. Arellano, who asserts that the police targeted them and tried to prevent him and his wife from coming over to see their dead son.
In particular, the angry residents set fire to part of the local government headquarters, two patrol cars and a municipal vehicle, said Mayor Maria Esther Arroniz.
The Veracruz State Security Secretariat confirmed the lynching attempt against the agents and announced the arrest of four of them for alleged “murder” following the events in Lerdo de Tejada.
Lynchings and attempted executions by residents are common in Mexico. Experts blame a sense of impunity.
Some 62% of Mexicans believe that those responsible for a crime are never or almost never brought before a judge, while 47% believe that impunity will increase in 2023, according to a recently published survey by the organization Impunidad Cero and the polling institute Data OMP June.