An angry mob of Peruvians attacked a Venezuelan man, accused of killing a 70-year-old, with stones, sticks, and boiling water last weekend, according to local media reports.
Locals accused Gabriel Eduardo Quijada Barroso, 24, of murdering 70-year-old carpenter Vicente Félix Lara Solano outside his home in Huancayo, Peru.
After approaching him outside his house, Barroso reportedly threatened Solano with a knife and demanded that he hand over some of his possessions. When Solano resisted, a tussle ensued, and he was killed by a fatal stab to the chest.
Neighbors who witnessed the attack quickly sought to take their revenge on Barroso, tracking him down and attacking him with sticks, boiled water, and stones. Police eventually intervened, taking him to the hospital for his injuries before arresting him.
According to an interview with prosecutors published in the Peruvian newspaper Diario Correo, Barroso said that he regretted the crime but that he did it out of necessity to provide for his impoverished family.
“That day (Sunday) I was drinking liquor, I talked with my mother and my children who are in Lima, they told me they didn’t have anything to eat,” he said. “I took the knife and went out to look for money. I did it out of necessity.”
Barroso is one of four million Venezuelans who fled their homeland as a result of the political, economic, and humanitarian crisis presided over by Nicolás Maduro’s socialist regime. Of the four million Venezuelans around the world, approximately 800,000 Venezuelans are living in Peru, with that number rapidly increasing every day.
The rapid inflow of migration has triggered hostile attitudes towards the Venezuelan community, as locals grow concerned about their lack of employment, risk of criminality, and the strain they place on public services.
Last month, Peruvian President Martín Vizcarra vowed to continue deporting Venezuelans with criminal records in an effort to quell public concern about criminality.
“We’re going to continue,” he told reporters as a group of 50 Venezuelans was deported back to their homeland. “500, 800, 1,000, 2,000 – whatever’s necessary. Those who have committed crimes will be expelled to their country.”
As part of its tougher stance, the government also introduced new rules for Venezuelans wishing to enter the country, forcing them to apply for a humanitarian visa at Peruvian consulates before they travel.