El Blog

Mob Rule

El Pais looks at the rise of vigilante justice across Central America:

Central America is considered to be one of the most violent areas in the world, with regional averages of murders over 27 per 100,000 inhabitants. In their research on the problems of insecurity in the region, the Organization of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has identified two phenomena related to such events — those taking revenge, involving a grudge or trying to take the law and justice into their hands — but with their own characteristics: lynchings and ‘social cleansing’ operations.

Lynchings, according to UNDP, are punishable acts under the guise of ‘popular justice’ exerted by mobs. ‘Social cleansing’ is carried out by groups or death squads with the pretext of liberating a community of undesirables.

 

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