Lynchings and impunity

In the last three decades, lynchings have become a frequent occurrence in Mexico

Lynchings and impunity
Angry mobs burn cars and lynch alleged criminals – Photo: File Photo/EL UNIVERSAL
English 09/09/2018 09:21 Mexico City Newspaper Leader Actualizada 09:22
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Mexico is going through a severe authority, violence, and crime crisis. It is closely linked with a profound crisis in the social fabric, where it has become increasingly frequent when groups mob justice take matter into their own hands, damaging the rule of law, the social order, and paradoxically, the application of justice, caused mainly because of generalized impunity and the organized crime's fight for the national territory, and in some cases, it is also due to ignorance and an open feeling of scorn towards the law and authority.

And we're not just talking about any “justice”, as some dare to call it, but of terrible lynchings, vulgar mass murders.

In our country, according to the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH), from 1988 to 2017, there have been 862 lynchings. 242 cases have taken place in the State of Mexico, turning in the first place nation-wide; Puebla is in second place, with a total of 182 cases; followed by Mexico City with 79 cases, and Oaxaca in fourth place with 60 cases.

In regards to Puebla, where 21.1% of these lynchings have taken place, among them is a recent case of a farmer, Alberto Flores Morales, 53 years old, and his nephew, Ricardo Flores Rodríguez, 22 years-old, who were accused of kidnapping in the San Vicente Boquerón community, and were murdered hours later at the county seat. In the end, it was revealed that they were innocent. Like this, there are many more cases: in the last three decades, citizens have taken justice into their own hands more frequently, regardless of the fact that many of the victims were innocent.

For the authorities and social psychologists, the mob's behavior willing to murder, without really knowing if they are allegedly innocent of any crime and without thinking about the consequences, is a symptom of collective anger because of the lack of justice and an authority crisis. The violence, they explain, taken place in organized groups who lose the notion of the common good when they act.

The authority crisis that affects big parts of our country results in a damaged morality, and them taking decisions such as lynching. It is, deep down, about the manifestation of social unrest towards authorities, but they are never justified; they shouldn't go unpunished.

The growing lynching phenomenon is an alert calling. A social re-education is urgent in the long term. It is necessary to educate people about the incorrect and illegality of taking justice into their own hands, and the atrocity of participating in a mob lynching.

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