December 11, 2012

Bolivian government rejects indigenous sanctions

Predictably, the Bolivian government isn't allowing an indigenous community to impose harsh penalties on criminals:

New Indigenous Community Justice Sanctions Criticized in Bolivia

By Rick KearnsOne indigenous community in Bolivia made headlines in early November after it was announced that, in their district, thieves would have a hand cut off after the 3rd or 4th arrest and that rapists “caught in the act” would receive chemical castration.

But these drastic measures may not go into effect even though indigenous communities have been given rights to impose traditional justice from the Bolivian Constitution.

National indigenous leaders in Bolivia have rejected the dramatic new sanctions created by that indigenous community in El Alto, the Qhapaq Uma Suya of La Paz, asserting that the new laws are not approved by their largest organization nor are they legal in Bolivia.
And:Along with the refutation by the National Council the sanctions have been strongly criticized by the Deputy Minister of Indigenous Justice of the Bolivian Government, Isabel Ortega.

“Definitely, neither the Political Constitution of the State, nor the Law of Jurisdictional Demarcation establishes these types of sanctions, which are out of place and should not be allowed,” Ortega asserted.

“While the Magna Carta defends the principles of due process,” Ortega continued, “neither castration nor the amputation of hands are admissible, because we are signatories to international conventions on the defense of human rights that all citizens of Bolivia must respect.”
Comment:  For more on the subject, see Bolivians to Punish Thieves with Amputation.

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