An angry crowd burned down a police substation on Thursday after officials refused to turn over a woman accused of abducting two children in the town of San Andres Itzapa, about 50 kilometers (30 miles) west of Guatemala City, authorities said.
One person was killed as residents quarreled among themselves over whether to avenge the alleged abductions, and five police were wounded by machetes and rocks, said Jonas Miranda, a police spokesman in nearby Chimaltenango.
"Seeing that these people wanted to burn the woman, the agents evacuated her," Miranda said. "That's why the furious neighbors went after the police substation."
The children in question were recovered, and police arrested two other women and man in connection with the alleged abductions.
Crowds frequently take justice into their own hands in remote parts of Guatemala, where officials estimate more than 300 people have been killed in lynchings since 1996.
Just Wednesday, a police station was burned in a remote village in the western Huehuetenango department following an arrest there, AP reported. V.A.