Colombian civilians have attempted to take justice into their own hands by attacking a suspected child molester for the fourth time in a week, this time in Ibague.
In this case, a 55-year-old man, whose identity has not been released by authorities, was at the point of being attacked, after area residents accused him of sexually violating a 10-year-old girl who had entered his house after asking to use his bathroom.
Upon learning of the incident, hundreds of adolescents and adults surrounded the alleged molester’s house and began throwing stones at the property.
An Ibague police patrol was dispatched to the area in order to keep events from getting further out of hand. “We took him out of the place in order to prevent the people from attacking him,” said authorities, adding that the case was put in the hands of prosecutors.
The presumed abuser will also have to defend himself against other accusations of sexual aggression.
“This type [man] is accustomed to taking students by the hand, inviting them to his house and offering them things, but he does all of it in order to be able to fondle them,” said a neighborhood resident.
Three other cases of attacks and attempted lynchings of suspected rapists have occurred in the Bogota and Soacha municipalities over the last week, beginning with a May 5 incident in which five people were injured in clashes between police and area residents who attempted to lynch the man.
Just three days later, a similar incident took place in Bogota, when civilians attacked police for attempting to protect an alleged rapist. The next day, residents of a neighboring barrio destroyed a wall of the home of a 13-year-old boy accused of violating a 4-year-old girl.