As the country of Venezuela descends further into destruction and poverty, people are taking things into their own hands, and it’s becoming a sick epidemic, Yahoo News reports.
Robberies are increasing due to the desperate state of the economy, as the nation spins out of control, and anyone caught in the act of robbery by the general public are being brutally beaten, lynched and even burned to death.
Venezuela reportedly has one of the highest murder rates in the world annually – yet only six crimes out of every 100 result in a sentence.
AFP journalists have filmed the gruesome lynchings and beatings in the capital city of Caracas. People are set on fire for being a government supporter, robbery, or even being suspected of robbery.
In one incident, after a witness stopped a man trying to rob a woman at gunpoint in a bakery, the mob took over, stripping him naked, stomping on his head and practically beating him to a pulp.
“You’re lucky we didn’t burn you!” one person yelled, as police rescued the man and arrested him.
The intent of the crowd is normally to kill the person before the police arrives, said one official.
Just within the first five months of 2017, at least 60 people were reportedly killed in lynchings, and 126 killings were reported in 2016 – skyrocketing from only 20 the previous year.
Marco Ponce, the coordinator of the Venezuelan Social Conflict Observatory, reportedly stated, “In lynchings, citizens let out their anger in the face of a state that is not defending their right to justice. They think they are dispensing justice, and they do so with anger, as they go as far as killing the person.”
One Caracas resident, Damaso Velasquez, admitted to the AFP that he took part in a lynching himself, saying, “I didn’t feel pity for that person because I knew he was a criminal. I felt rage and hatred towards that person… I saw him committing a robbery. That makes you feel furious, so whatever happens to him, it’s alright.”
Velasquez added “The government grabs him, puts him in jail, and then they let him go again. There is disorder here in Caracas – starting with the government.”
WARNING: The following videos are extremely disturbing.
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