21 November 2006

Another mayor Lynched by mob- Peru

Indigenous Lynch Corrupt Mayor

On April 26, a crowd of some 10,000 indigenous Aymara residents of the southern Peruvian town of Ilave and the surrounding rural areas of El Collao province, Puno department, lynched Ilave mayor Fernando Cirilo Robles Callomamani. The mob dragged Robles through the streets, beat him with whips and chains, subjected him to a “people’s trial” for corruption and forced him to apologize for his deeds. Robles was badly hurt and died at the scene.
The controversy first erupted in Ilave, a town of 16,000 inhabitants, on April 2 when Robles fled amid accusations of corruption. Critics said he took state money to complete a much-needed local highway and instead of arranging the repairs, pocketed the money. On April 3, some 25,000 residents of the surrounding rural areas arrived in Ilave and shut down transport along the Puno-Desaguadero highway in a general strike to demand Robles’ resignation. Negotiations over the following weeks between government representatives and local residents failed to reach a solution. As of April 22, 15,000 residents were continuing the strike while town council members who opposed Robles sought to remove him from office at a meeting. On April 24, 10,000 people rallied in Ilave’s town square to demand Robles be stripped of his power.
The strike was continuing on April 26 when Robles slipped back into Ilave and tried to prevent his ouster by holding a secret meeting at his home with three loyal town council members. Residents were furious when they found him there, and broke through the fence of the house to bring him out. They beat Robles, dragged him through the streets and forced him up to the roof of the three-story municipal building to apologize to the town via microphone. After a two word apology, Robles lost consciousness, collapsed and died, according to the Lima daily La Rep├║blica (it was not clear whether he also fell from the roof). Protesters then dumped Robles’ body under a bridge. The mob also beat and kicked council members loyal to Robles and two journalists, including the local correspondent for La Rep├║blica. Police tried to regain control of the town later that night but were driven back by the protesters, who seized a police vehicle.

From BBC News

Peru sends police into riot town

Heavily-armed police remove a barricade from an Ilave streetPolice have returned in force to the south-east Peruvian town of Ilave where indigenous people lynched the mayor and besieged the police station.
A convoy of lorries rolled into the main square of the Andean town near Lake Titicaca and 220 officers began restoring order, the government said.
Police had pulled out on Monday after thousands of people attacked their station with petrol bombs.
Impoverished local people have been protesting for weeks about corruption.
Mayor Cirilo Fernando Robles Cayomamani was forcibly paraded through the city in front of thousands of people, many thought to be from outside the town, before being beaten and left to die.

He had been seized along with at least three other officials after refusing to resign in the face of more than three weeks of protests which closed schools and two bridges linking Peru to Bolivia, and severely disrupted economic activity.
Television pictures from the town show a building and vehicle set ablaze on Monday.

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