Lynching in Merlo, Argentina
Lynching in Merlo, Argentina

It happens intermittently in Latin American countries. Residents exasperated with rampant criminality, police ineptitude and impunity decide to give criminals the lesson of their lives — or the last lesson of their lives.

This practice associated more with rural Central America or Mexico is rearing its ugly head in Argentina, where rising crime has been fueling dissatisfaction with the state’s ability to keep the peace and protect private property.

Three lynching incidents were reported in Argentina over a period of 72 hours this past week.

On April 5, residents of Garupá in northeastern Argentina sought to lynch the brother of a man held in the shooting of an 18-year-old. The detainee was one of several held, whom neighbors accused of constituting a “family” of local thieves. A mob of hundreds caught the brother of one of them and beat and “stoned” him — until police stopped them three hours later when the target of the anger was near death.

In Merlo, outside the capital, a young man was caught breaking a van window, which led the owner of the vehicle and other neighbors to beat him until police arrived, according to the website MerloGBA, which posted pictures of passersby observing the beating.

In Santiago del Estero, locals beat a 17-year-old as he left home on April 7, after they found out he had stolen and sold a bike. They then drove him to where he had left the bike, the local paper El Liberal reported.

Here’s a recent episode captured on video:

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