"--IANS/EFE"
La Paz, June 26 (IANS/EFE) A 30-year-old man accused of raping and murdering a woman in the eastern province of Santa Cruz was seized by a mob and burned to death, Bolivian authorities said.

The lynching victim has been identified as Dario Ribero Maldonado, police officer Octavio Gutierrez told reporters.

Police had sought him for questioning in connection with a May 25 rape-murder in Montero.

Ribero's body, bound with barbed wire, was recovered Wednesday from a common grave, El Mundo newspaper said in its web edition.

The accused killer was captured by vigilantes after his return to Montero Monday.

The mob tortured Ribero before taking him to the cemetery, dumping him in the common grave and setting him on fire, according to the police report.

Montero residents delayed authorities' efforts to recover the body and are refusing to cooperate with the investigation, police said.

People taking the law into their own hands is fairly common in rural Bolivia, especially in remote indigenous villages.

Bolivia's 2009 constitution explicitly recognises community justice, but officials have insisted repeatedly that the charter does not legalise lynching or vigilantism.

Anywhere from 10 to 20 people are killed by lynch mobs every year, Bolivian human rights organisations say.

--IANS/EFE

ab/pr/


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