Source: Linda ikeji November 14, 2018
Two men were dragged out of a jail cell, beaten and burned alive by an angry mob after rumors accusing them of being child abductors spread rapidly via WhatsApp.
The message claimed the criminals were involved in organ trafficking
The false WhatsApp message talked about “plague of child kidnappers” and three children, aged four, eight and 14, who had been found murdered with their abdomens sliced open and their organs removed.
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This aroused the anger of the locals as they went to the station, dragged the innocent men out of jail and carried out jungle justice on them.
Ricardo Flores, a 21-year-old law student, and his uncle Alberto Flores, a 43-year-old farmer, were falsely accused after they were spotted near an elementary school amid the WhatsApp rumors. They were buying construction supplies for water well when they were accosted by locals in San Vicente Boqueron, Mexico, on August 29, and taken into police custody for “disturbing the peace”.
The message that was shared by villagers reads:
Please, everyone, be alert because a plague of child kidnappers has entered the country. It appears that these criminals are involved in organ trafficking.
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In the past few days, children aged four, eight and 14 have disappeared and some of these kids have been found dead with signs that their organs were removed. Their abdomens had been cut open and were empty.
The arrest of the uncle and his nephew fueled rumors on social media and sparked outrage. An angry mob welcomed the men when they were taken to the municipal police station in Acatlan de Osorio.
Police officers assured the crowd that the men had not abducted any children, but the mob was unconvinced and they broke into the cell, dragged the men out, battered them, poured petrol on their bodies then set them alight as a crowd of about 150 people cheered and applauded the sick act.
Distressing footage shows the pair being attacked outside a police station.
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By then, Ricardo’s mother Guadalupe had been alerted that he and his uncle had been falsely accused. She quickly posted a comment on a live stream which read: “Please don’t hurt them, don’t kill them, they’re not child kidnappers.”
But her comment yielded no result and she watched in horror as the men were killed.
In the aftermath, the state of Puebla’s attorney general announced that the rumors were not true and the case was being treated as murder. State authorities said five people have been charged with instigating the double killing, and four others with carrying out the murder.