In what could rightly be termed a tale of two cities (or more precisely, two cultures), a Bolivian rapist literally found himself in an early grave while his “counterparts” in places like Pakistan not only had the gall to call their victim shameless, but to kill her brother in retaliation for her accusations.
The villagers in this particular community were so irate with the young man he was quickly dispatched to an early appointment with his maker.
I don’t see any rapists getting fresh with any women in that area anytime soon. While I do not support the death penalty or mob justice, if more societies could stand this firmly against rape, the numbers would certainly go down. But no. The general impression created is that a woman’s bare knees are enough to send most men into a wild and uncontrollable frenzy. Tragic.
- During the funeral of 35-year-old Leandra Arias Janco, villagers threw 17-year-old Santos Ramos into her grave and piled earth on top of him
- Villagers suspected Ramos was responsible for Janco’s rape and murder
- Residents blocked the road to the community, preventing police from reaching it
Mourners in a Bolivian village seized a 17-year-old boy who was named by police as a suspect in the rape and murder of a 35-year-old woman and buried him alive alongside her at the woman’s funeral.
About 200 inhabitants of the small town near the Colquechaca municipality in the Potosi district of Bolivia’s southern highlands became enraged as they mourned the death of Leandra Arias Janco on Wednesday evening and threw Santos Ramos into the grave, which was then filled with earth.
Prosecutor Jose Luis Barrios said Thursday that police had identified 17-year-old Santos Ramos as the possible culprit in the attack on 35-year-old Leandra Arias Janco.
A local reporter for an indigenous radio station, who would only speak on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals, said that Ramos was tied up at the woman’s funeral before mourners threw him into the grave.
Lynchings are not uncommon in Bolivia, where the justice system is often corrupt and communities are known to police themselves.
Also on Wednesday in Potosi, residents of the Quechua indigenous community of Tres Cruces stoned to death a suspected thief and burned his accomplice alive, Barrios said. The two had earlier robbed a car and killed its driver.
Earlier this year, a Bolivian police officer was lynched by an angry mob after he was confused with a thief in the city of El Alto.
Evo Morales, the country’s first indigenous President, signed into law in 2009 a measure extending institutional recognition of ‘indigenous justice,’ but it’s difficult to define the boundaries between the indigenous and Western systems of justice.
Potosi is the highest city in the world, at 13,420 feet above sea level, and Colquechaca is a village of 5,000 inhabitants.
The area was exploited by the Spanish for its silver and funded much of the Spanish Empire‘s expansion into the New World due to its Cerro Rico (Rich Mountain), which has been mined for more than 500 years.
Many inhabitants of the area are poor miners, still mining the mountain for rare silver and tin. Due to poor worker conditions and unsafe mining practices, present-day miners have a short life expectancy with most contracting silicosis and dying within 12 years of beginning work in the mine.