EspañolOnly a month after being reelected to a third term as mayor of Concepción, Guatemala, Basilio Juracán met his untimely end. On Sunday, October 11, an angry mob attacked the mayor of the rural town in the southwestern province of Sololá, beating and burning him to death.
According to local investigators, the lynching occurred just hours after unidentified gunmen attacked Juracán’s mayoral opponent, Lorenzo Sequec, while driving in a van with his family on a local road toward Concepción.
Reports suggest that a car cut off the van, and the attackers opened fire. The ambush killed Sequec’s 17-year old daughter and 16-year old niece, injuring Sequec and four others.
News of the attack on the ex-candidate, a fierce critic of the mayor, spread through the area, and an angry mob assembled.
Believing Juracán to be responsible for the ambush, outraged residents set out to search for him. The mob located the mayor at his home and dragged him out, beat him, and torched his body. Before the murder, residents set fire to multiple homes belonging to the mayor’s extended family.
The rivalry between Juracán, a member of the Renewed Democratic Liberty Party (LIDER), and Sequec, of the National Unity of Hope Party (UNE), continued after the September 6 election. The ex-candidate recently criticized Juracán for his mismanagement of the town’s funds and demanded an investigation into the mayor’s office.
Concepción is a rural town 62 miles west of the capital, Guatemala City. The Central American nation consistently ranks as one of the top five most violent countries in the world, struggling to combat gun crime. Nevertheless, the lynching of a public official is rare, and has raised concerns within the government.