A 32-year-old man accused of trying to rob a pensioner with a knife was stripped naked and wrapped from head to foot in clingfilm, and then tied to a lamppost by a mob in Chile's capital city of Santiago.
Photographs of Valentino Abeyta Barrera standing facing the ground, with his underpants around his ankles, and a video of the incident has gone viral on the internet.
Barrera was subjected to the public humiliation for 20 minutes until the police arrived. The alleged thief, instead of explaining what led to the extreme situation, begged the police officials to free him, Metro reports.
The photographs and the video posted online started a debate about the significance of vigilante justice. Despite going through such mental and physical torture, Barrera did not make any complaint to the police or any authority regarding the incident. This could only hint at Barrera's guilt and in turn justifies the actions of the vigilante mob, believes the online community.
According to Mirror, some believe that the ones who tried to punish the thief by stripping and beating him were no better than the crook himself; while others argued that the fact that citizens had to take the law in their hands suggested their lack of faith in police as well as the justice system.
A commenter, Daniela Montoya Pazo, said: "They just had to arrest him, not beat him. This kind of things put us at the same level as the criminals."
On the other hand another commenter, Daichi Yuka, said: "I would like to do the same thing to the thief who threatened me with a weapon this morning."
Police responded to the reactions. A spokesman for the police said: "Unless the man who was tied to the lamppost or his alleged victim want to file a complaint, there is not much we can do."
View the video below: