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Mob Justice in Bolivia

Via the BBC:  Rape suspect buried alive in Bolivia

A man suspected of rape has been buried alive by villagers in the southern highlands of Bolivia.

Police had identified the 17-year-old as the possible culprit in the rape and murder of a 35-year-old woman near the municipality of Colquechaca.

The chief prosecutor says more than 200 furious local people seized Santos Ramos and buried him in the grave of his alleged victim.

He says residents blocked roads into the village to stop police arriving.

A reporter for a local radio station, who would only speak anonymously for fear of reprisals, told the media that Mr Ramos was tied up at the woman’s funeral.

He said mourners threw him into the open grave alongside the woman’s coffin and filled the grave with earth.

A truly gruesome way to go regardless of the crime—not to mention the issue of whether they got the right fellow or not. 

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About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is Professor and Chair of Political Science at Troy University. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. He is the author of Voting Amid Violence: Electoral Democracy in Colombia and is currently working on a comparative study of the US to 29 other democracies. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging at PoliBlog since 2003. Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. What’s really sad is if you read the comments this story is getting various places and realize how many Americans think lynch mobs are a good thing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  2. @Stormy Dragon: As long as the first implementation is in the United States military, I could be sanguine (no pun intended) about it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  3. Andre Kenji says:

    That´s common in Latin America. It´s not rare to see people that tries to rob transit buses just to be lynched by the passengers in Brazil. In Mexico, they even have a the “Community Police”, that are in fact peasant militias.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  4. Gustopher says:

    If people have no faith in the local police, then I would expect they would turn to vigilantism and justice-by-angry-mob. But I know next to nothing about the Bolivian police — I think they cornered Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid at the end of the movie.

    I hope the angry mob got the right guy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  5. Ernieyeball says:

    “One thing I teach: suffering and the end of suffering. It is just ill and the ceasing of ill that I proclaim.” — The Buddha

    Security forces struggled to control Buddhist mobs who burned Muslim homes on Wednesday for a second day in the northern Myanmar city of Lashio…
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/05/29/us-myanmar-violence-idUSBRE94S0JD20130529

    The murder of Ken Rex McElroy took place in plain view of dozens of residents of this small farm town, under the glare of the morning sun. But in a dramatic act of solidarity with the gunman, every witness, save the dead man’s wife, denied seeing who had pulled the trigger.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/16/us/16bully.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

    From Myanmar to Missouri, Mob Rule thrives as we work and play!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  6. Matt Bernius says:

    @Ernieyeball:
    Thanks for the links.

    Most people typically don’t believe that Buddhist mobs often engage in acts of spectacular violence against other religious groups.

    (Of course, many of those same people also tend to think that certain religious groups are also always the cause of such violence)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  7. Ernieyeball says:

    @Matt Bernius: Just another reason for me to proclaim that I refuse to be spiritual. Whatever that means.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0