Bolivia: Crime: ‘If we catch thieves here, we kill them’

Indigenous communities want the right to carry out amputations and castrations in an attempt to fill judicial vacuum

An effigy hanging from a telephone pole in El Alto as a warning. The sign reads: any thief who’s captured will be burned. At least nine people died in 30 lynchings in Bolivia last year. Photograph: Dan Collyns for the Guardian

The writing was on the wall. Daubed in white paint on adobe bricks, it read: “Thieves who are caught will be burned alive.” The zero-tolerance message can be seen throughout El Alto, a sprawling Altiplano city on a mountain above La Paz. SEE MORE…



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