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. 

FILED UNDER: Latin America, World Politics, ,
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  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.

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

  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.

  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.

  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…

    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.

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

  6. Matt Bernius says:

    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)

  7. Ernieyeball says:

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