Girl's death sparks deadly mob violence in Mexico

2 weeks ago 25

Mourners dressed in white by a coffinImage source, EPA

Image caption,

The death of Camila Gómez has caused outrage in Mexico

By Leonardo Rocha, Americas editor, and Sean Seddon

BBC News

A woman suspected of murdering an eight-year-old girl in southern Mexico was beaten to death after a mob formed from protests sparked by the killing.

Violent protests began after the body of Camila Gómez was found by a road near the city of Taxco on Thursday.

Footage on social media showed police watching on as a woman locals believed to be responsible for the killing was brutally beaten in broad daylight.

Two men also suspected by locals of involvement were attacked but survived.

Camila disappeared on Wednesday after entering a neighbour's house to use their swimming pool.

Her mother went to the police a few hours later after receiving phone messages demanding a ransom to free her.

She says she gave the police images from the security camera of another neighbour showing the house where the girl was but they reportedly ignored her pleas to act.

Camila's body was found on a local road on Thursday. Local authorities later confirmed they were investigating a woman and two men for aggravated homicide.

Relatives of Camila joined Taxco residents to protest against the police and demand justice in a case which caused outrage in Mexico, a country with one of the world's highest rates of violence against women

Taxco residents overturned cars, blocked a road and surrounded three people they believed had killed the girl.

Social media footage of the lynch mob showed police looking on as a woman locals believed to be responsible was brutally attacked.

Police appear to have been attempting to remove them from where the mob had gathered.

Image source, EPA

Image caption,

A protest calling for police action over the murder developed into a lynch mob

Local prosecutors are treating the woman's death at the hands of the crowd as qualified homicide, AFP news agency reports.

A statement on the state prosecutor of Guerrero's website confirms police formally arrested one man in connection with Camila's death.

Mourners dressed in white gathered in Taxco on Friday for Camila's funeral, El Universal report, and carried the coffin through the city centre.

The small city, which lies around 170km (105 miles) south of the capital Mexico City, is situated in the state of Guerrero, which has been plagued by organised crime.

Lynch mobs against people suspected of crimes against children are not uncommon in Mexico.

In June 2022, a politician was beaten to death by a crowd of around 200 people after accusations he was involved in a child kidnapping were spread online.

In November 2018, a shop owner in the central Mexican state of Puebla was burned to death after similar rumours circulated on WhatsApp.

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