Lynching in Bolivia

Some very strange and disturbing local customs and vigilantism in Bolivia – apparently there were 41 cases of lynching in 2014, of which 13 resulted in death writes Andreas Moser.

The Happy Hermit

In many places in Bolivia, I saw life-size dolls dangling from lamp posts, power poles, walls and even next to the church. I was unable to figure out what they were supposed to represent.


When I asked about it, I always received evasive replies referring to “custom” or limited to explanations that explain absolutely nothing, like “that’s what people do around here”. At first, I thought my Spanish was too bad to understand, but over time it became obvious that nobody wanted to talk about it. Until I met a girl in La Paz who explained quite openly, while we were walking around El Alto, that the dolls serve as a warning: “In this part of town, we’ll hang you if we catch you stealing.”


And these are no empty threats. Take this woman and her two children for example. They were accused of stealing a car and tied to…

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