The November incident, seen around the world on YouTube, provoked outrage here and abroad. It was not an isolated instance. At least 54 people were killed in mostly indigenous Bolivian towns and suburbs last year by mobs taking the law into their own hands.
Among other lynchings last year, three policemen accused of extortion were killed by a mob in the town of Epizana in February. The incident prompted a United Nations warning that Bolivia's "weak judicial apparatus and the slow reaction of authorities favors an impunity that only encourages a repetition of these acts."
The question in the minds of many legal experts is whether incidents such as the lynchings here will decrease as the Indians sense that they have more legal recourse, or increase as they legally dispense the summary justice that characterizes their approach. [Three guesses... -ed.]