Friday, June 7, 2013

Mob "Justice" in Bolivia

Here's a story of mob justice in a village of Bolivia.  A mob is a group of people - actually, usually an angry group of people is referred to as a 'mob.'  When we speak of 'mob justice' we are being a bit ironic.  Mob justice is usually when a mob becomes angry and harms a person they feel is guilty of some crime. So it's not really a case of 'justice,' it's a case of a mob taking illegal action to satisfy its need for what it feels would be justice.

In this story, a mob caught a teenager they believed had murdered a woman and they buried him alive.  They threw him on top of the dead woman's coffin (the wooden box a dead person is buried in) and covered him with dirt (earth).



To bury something is to dig a hole in the ground and then place something in it and cover the hole with dirt again.

The article:

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/bolivian-mob-buries-alive-suspected-murderer-article-1.1365894

Vocabulary to help you understand the article:

suspected - thought to be; if someone is suspected of being a criminal, he is thought to be a criminal.

a funeral - the ceremony before a dead person's body (corpse) is disposed of (gotten rid of). A dead person can be buried in a cemetery or cremated (burned) in America.

allegedly - supposedly.  If a person allegedly did something, someone claims he did it, but it hasn't been proved in court yet.

sexual assault - to attack a person for sexual motives.

to strangle - to cut off a person's ability to breathe using one's hands or a rope or other thing. A person can strangle another person by placing his hands around the other person's neck and squeezing.

reportedly - apparently.

thrown in her grave - they threw him into the hole they had dug for her coffin (the box they placed her in).

to be buried alive - to throw someone into a hole and then to have dirt covering the person so that he suffocates (cannot breathe and dies).

to be apprehended - to be caught.

vigilante/vigilantes - a vigilante is someone or a group of people who do not trust the police and so they get 'justice' for themselves.

a casket - a coffin, the box you put a dead person in.

raping and murdering - rape is a terrible crime in which a man forces himself sexually on a woman.  Murder is the killing of another human being.

grieving - if you are grieving you are feeling the emotional pain of someone's death.

to grieve - the verb form.

grief - the noun form.

to capture - to catch.

a coffin - a box you put a dead body in.

to stone someone to death - to throw stones at a person until you kill him/her.

to be busted - to be arrested by the police. To be held by the police.

a lynching - this is when a mob takes action on its own to get justice.
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Questions for discussion/writing:

According to the article, the police in this area of Bolivia are corrupt and unreliable.  Do you think the villagers were justified in doing this to the apparent rapist/murderer?

Do you think the villagers who did this should be arrested and prosecuted for murder?  After all, it was never proved that this young man killed the woman. 
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