Thor Halvorssen’s wonderful Human Rights Foundation has published an important new report on Bolivian president Evo Morales’ efforts to introduce a system of “communal justice.” (A summary of the report is here.) The report explains:
“Communal justice” is an Inca practice derived from ancient custom law that currently allows local leaders to impart justice directly for crimes perpetrated by members of their indigenous communities, bypassing the Bolivian legal system. The practice sometimes involves communal leaders engaging in rituals such as consulting coca leaves.
Violence, often of the most barbaric kind, is a common feature of the system. Judicial independence, juries, due process, civil rights, and the like have no place. And the results are horrifying.
The report explains:
Twenty-eight (28) reported cases include instances of women buried alive for adultery and additional episodes of angry mobs raiding town halls and police headquarters to take justice into their own hands. Because the authorities fear confronting those who carry out such barbaric practices, the perpetrators of communal justice are neither prosecuted under ordinary law, nor made accountable for their crimes.
It appears, quite simply, that Bolivia is descending even more rapidly into the same leftist darkness that envelopes Hugo Chavez’s neighboring Venezuela (Halvorssen’s homeland.) Allowing this sort of “justice” seems a very obvious (and small) step from the often-bandied about leftist idea that all cultures and values are essentially equal. (Except, maybe, for those of the modern, capitalist West.)