Suspecting family of witchcraft, neighborâ€™s gang takes machetes to adults, children.
MEXICO CITY (Compass Direct News) -- When the 11-year-old daughter of Antonio Gomez became ill of a stomach ailment, her father decided that it was due to witchcraft committed by his evangelical neighbor.
Gomez, of the Jolitontic community of Chalchihuitan municipality in Chiapas state, gathered seven friends to kill the family of the supposed culprit. After midnight on August 23, they allegedly killed three adults â€“ the parents and their eldest son -- and wounded six children with machetes.
Mariano Lopez Perez, public prosecutor of Indian Justice, reportedly said neighbors regarded the father in the attacked family, Pedro Gomez Diaz, as â€œan evangelical who prayed a great deal.â€ The neighbors reportedly denied that the family believed in or practiced any kind of witchcraft as far as they knew.
According to Tuxtla Gutierrez-based Cuarto Poder newspaper in Chiapas, all eight of the men who participated in the massacre of three Indians in Jolitontic are now in jail in San Cristobal de las Casas, awaiting justice.
The attackers burst into the hut of the family to kill first the eldest son, Rene, 32. They then slashed the mother, Marcela Hernandez Giron Gomez, and the father, Gomez Diaz.
Before he died Gomez Diazâ€™s cries alerted the rest of the family, but the murderers managed to seriously wound six other children: Esteban, 4; Ernesto, 6; Anita, 7; Maria, 14; Petrona, 16; and Martin, 18. They were all taken to the public health hospital of San Cristobal de las Casas.
Petrona Diaz was reported to be in the most serious condition; two of the children required surgery. The hospital refused to give further information to Compass, but reports regarding the children indicate that Petrona Diaz suffered the amputation of one thumb and an exposed broken bone.
Maria Diaz was reportedly gravely ill, and her siblings Ernesto and Anita were discharged from the hospital on Aug. 25. The next day they went to be with their grandmother in another town.
Authorities reportedly found three machetes that had been used in the attack, hidden in the brush.
Police reportedly buried the bodies of the three murder victims in a common grave behind their house, as â€œbecause they had no relatives in the community.â€
Copyright Â© 2008 Compass Direct News