The Bolivian villagers extracted painful vigilante justice on the criminals for allegedly stealing three motorbikes.
The two thieves, aged 18 and 19, nearly died after being stung by the poisonous fire ants in the attack in Ayopaya, western Bolivia.
According to local media reports, villagers in the Amazon jungle tied two men motorbike thieves to a tree infesting with deadly ants for nearly three days.
Villagers had demanded $ 3700 - nearly four times Bolivia’s average annual wage - from the thieves' relatives as compensation for the motorbikes.
After the ransom was paid, the men accused of stealing motorbikes were freed.
If the relatives had not paid the ransom, the young men would have probably died.
Now one of the accused is in intensive care while the other needs dialysis for kidney failure.
The venomous ants - whose scientific name is pseudomyrmex triplarinus - live on the triplaris tree, which grows throughout Central and South America.
The poison of fire ants has anti-inflammatory properties and is used in small doses as a traditional cure for arthritis.