Honduran police detained five people on Friday for their roles in the lynching of an Italian man by a crowd of over 600 locals in retaliation for the suspected murder of a homeless man, according to the authorities.
Villagers attacked Giorgio Scanu, 65, at his home in the town of Santa Ana de Yusguare, in the southern Honduran department of Choluteca, with stones, sticks, and machetes on Thursday, according to the security ministry.
The mob came after Scanu after he allegedly beat a 78-year-old homeless man to death on Wednesday for damaging ornamental plants in his garden, according to police reports based on complaints from local residents.
“More than 600 angry residents entered the residence and used sticks, stones and machetes to kill the Italian accused of having killed Mr. Juan de Dios Flores,” said Rebeca Martinez, a spokeswoman for the security ministry.
Martinez stated that parts of Scanu’s home and a vehicle were set on fire.
According to officials, five people aged 19 to 55 were detained for the murder of Scanu, a retired engineer who had been residing in the rural community and had two children and a wife who live in Tegucigalpa.
His family, according to police, is Honduran.
Martinez said authorities are looking for anyone who may have been involved in Scanu’s lynching and that police were present at the time but were unable to intervene owing to the mob’s magnitude.