Villagers in Bolivia's southern highlands buried a teenager alive in the grave of a woman he was suspected of having raped and murdered, an official has said.
Police had identified 17-year-old Santos Ramos as the possible culprit in the attack on 35-year-old Leandra Arias Janco last Sunday in a Quechua community near the municipality of Colquechaca, said José Luis Barrios, the chief prosecutor in Potosí province, where the community is located.
More than 200 enraged locals seized Ramos and buried him alive alongside his alleged victim on Wednesday night, according to Barrios. He said that the following day, residents blocked the road to the community, preventing police and prosecutors from reaching it.
A reporter for an indigenous radio station, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals, told the Associated Press that Ramos was tied up at the woman's funeral. Mourners threw him into the open grave, placed the woman's coffin in it and filled the grave with earth.
Colquechaca is a town of 5,000 inhabitants located 200 miles south-east of Bolivia's capital, La Paz.
Also in Potosí on Wednesday, residents of the Quechua indigenous community of Tres Cruces stoned to death a suspected thief and burned his accomplice alive, Barrios said. The official said the two had earlier robbed a car and killed its driver.