In the remote villages of Bolivia, where the government justice system is plagued by corruption, local communities often carry out their own form of justice.
That is exactly what took place this week when a mob of people from one Bolivian town buried Santos Ramos, a 17-year old rape suspect alive. He was buried alongside the body of the woman he was suspected of raping and murdering.
Reporters were told by a local prosecutor that he was going to start proceedings in court against two men from Colquechaca, who are said to be the leaders of the vigilantes. In the Andean country, it is common in indigenous populations to see mob justice.
During funeral services for the woman raped and killed a crowd of 200 in the mountain village grabbed Ramos. He was tied up and then thrown into the woman’s grave at the time her coffin was being lowered into the ground. The people then filled the grave with dirt.
Police had named Ramos as a possible suspect in the murder and rape case, and townspeople throwing stones and carrying clubs resisted the efforts of police to recover Ramos’ body.
Another recent incident of mob justice included the stoning death of a man suspected of stealing a car and killing its owner. The mob also burned the man’s accomplice alive.
Back in 2009, a gang attacked one remote village kidnapping more than 30 women and subjected them to rape. A mob of townspeople captured the gang and set them all on fire.
President Evo Morales, who is a member of the Aymara community, backs indigenous justice claiming it has been around for many centuries.