Vigilante justice in Bolivia —or autonomy?
Four people are reported to have been killed in Bolivia last week by local residents acting in the name of "community justice." In Colquechaca, Potosí, a youth of 16 was buried alive by local Quechua residents after being accused of raping and killing a local woman. A district prosecutor reported that he was thrown alive into the same grave as his purported victim. Two men, 17 and 21, were reportedly burned alive at Tres Cruces, Potosí, accused of having killed a local taxi driver. The fourth fatality took place in an unnamed pueblo in the Chapare region of Cochabamba department, where an accused thief was beaten to death. "Community justice" is enshrined in Bolivia's new constitution, amid provisions instating local autonomy for indigenous peoples, but the government considers such incidents to be lynchings. (InfoBAE, NY Daily News, June 7)