13 October (NWN) — Authorities said two Venezuelan boys were shot and killed in a Colombian town after a shopkeeper accused them of shoplifting.
On Friday, boys aged 18 and 12 were caught by onlookers after they were accused of trying to steal from a clothing store in the small town of Tibu, near the Colombia-Venezuela border. Security footage shows the boys being carried away by two armed men on motorcycles.
Hours later the bodies of the two boys were found on the side of a road near the edge of the city. On one of the boys was a handwritten sign with “thief” written on it.
The United Nations Human Rights Office in Colombia condemned the deaths on Sunday.
As Columbia reports, the office said, “We extend our condolences to his family.” “We urge the authorities to investigate these incidents. We call for respect for the lives and safety of children.”
Regional police chief Colonel Carlos Martínez blamed three locals for their involvement in the boys’ deaths.
“[They took] Justice in your own hands,” said Martinez. “That’s the authority.”
Vilfredo Canizares of the regional human rights group Fundacion Progresar said it appears a local armed militia is setting its laws in the city it wants to control.
According to The Guardian, Canizares said, “Each armed group in Tibu exerts control using violence, and the first people who always suffer with their weapons are those in social issues, criminal records, drug problems or prostitution.” are working.” “This is the third case we have reported in which people are being effectively killed.”