Vigilante attacks and mob justice appeared to be on the rise in Mexico this week as violence mounted, more than two dozen bodies appeared along roadsides and the government ruled out any new crackdown on criminal gangs.
Prosecutors in the northern state of Sinaloa said Thursday five young men have been murdered in recent days, and in all five cases toy cars were carefully placed atop their corpses. The men were apparently car thieves, and the toys indicated both the reason they were killed and served as a warning to other thieves.
The latest such murder came Wednesday. Prosecutors said the victim had been identified as the same man seen on security camera footage earlier that day stealing a pickup truck at gunpoint from a woman outside her home in the state capital, Culiacan.
That same day, a total of seven suspected kidnappers were killed by townspeople in the largest mass lynching in recent memory in the central state of Puebla. Some were beaten, some hanged.