AP PHOTOS: Coca town cracks down on alcohol to fight rapes

Jun 9, 2015, 10:18 PM
This June 6, 2015 photo shows a bird’s eye view of La Asunta, northeast of La Paz, Bolivia. N...
This June 6, 2015 photo shows a bird's eye view of La Asunta, northeast of La Paz, Bolivia. Neighborhood leaders have imposed a sort of vigilante dry law in the coca-growing mountain town of La Asunta, hoping to end a series of rapes and other crimes. (AP Photo/Juan Karita)
(AP Photo/Juan Karita)

LA ASUNTA, Bolivia (AP) — The dance hall is closed. There’s no beer at the bar. And restaurant patrons have to cut their thirst with soda pop.

Neighborhood leaders have imposed a sort of vigilante dry law in the coca-growing mountain town of La Asunta, hoping to end a series of rapes and other crimes.

By night, groups of citizens patrol the town of 7,000 people, sometimes shooting off firecrackers to warn saloons and discotheques to shut down.

“This has gotten out of hand. The police can’t do anything so we’ve decided to take our own measures and we’ve called for complying with a 30-day dry law,” said Jorge Mendoza, a neighborhood leader in the town some 60 miles (100 kilometers) northeast of La Paz, the capital.

Residents began the patrols after an 11-year-old girl was raped on May 30. While they haven’t caught a suspect in that case, they grabbed another man identified as a rapist by a 12-year-old girl.

Neighbors went to his house, tied his hands and pushed the 22-year-old through the streets with a hand-scrawled sign saying “I’m a rapist.” Several people came out and beat him before he was handed over to local police.

“It was about time that the people that people did something about all this,” said Flora Nati, who said she joined the patrols because of fears for the safety of her two sons.

___

Associated Press photographers and photo editors on Twitter: http://apne.ws/15Oo6jo

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

World News

A fisherman watches smoke rise after Russian forces launched a missile attack on a military unit in...
Associated Press

Russia’s Black Sea Fleet headquarters hit by drone strike

An explosive device carried by a makeshift drone blew up Sunday at the headquarters of Russia's Black Sea Fleet on the Crimean Peninsula.
18 days ago
Medical syringes are seen with 'Monkeypox' sign displayed on a screen in the backgound in this illu...
Associated Press

Monkeypox declared a global emergency by UN health agency

The expanding monkeypox outbreak in more than 70 countries is an “extraordinary” situation that qualifies as a global emergency.
26 days ago
Chinese paramilitary policemen march in front of the Japanese embassy where the Japanese flag is fl...
Associated Press

Japan’s ex-leader Shinzo Abe assassinated during a speech

TOKYO (AP) — Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was assassinated Friday on a street in western Japan by a gunman who opened fire on him from behind as he delivered a campaign speech — an attack that stunned a nation with some of the strictest gun control laws anywhere. The 67-year-old Abe, who was Japan’s […]
1 month ago
Firefighters hose down a burning car after a strike hit a residential area, in Kramatorsk, Donetsk ...
Associated Press

Russia taking ‘operational pause’ in Ukraine, analysts say

Analysts say Russia may be taking an "operational pause" in eastern Ukraine to reassemble forces for a significant offensive.
1 month ago
Prime Minister Boris Johnson enters 10 Downing Street, after reading a statement in London, Thursda...
Associated Press

One scandal too many: British PM Boris Johnson resigns

LONDON (AP) — Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced his resignation Thursday after droves of top government officials quit over the latest scandal to engulf him, marking an end to three tumultuous years in which he tried to bluster his way through one ethical lapse after another. Months of defiance ended almost with a shrug as […]
1 month ago
Ukrainian servicemen carry the coffin with the remains of Army Col. Oleksander Makhachek during a f...
Associated Press

As Ukraine loses troops, how long can it keep up the fight?

ZHYTOMYR (AP) — As soon as they had finished burying a veteran colonel killed by Russian shelling, the cemetery workers readied the next hole. Inevitably, given how quickly death is felling Ukrainian troops on the front lines, the empty grave won’t stay that way for long. Col. Oleksandr Makhachek left behind a widow, Elena, and […]
2 months ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Why your student-athlete’s physical should be conducted by a sports medicine specialist

Dr. Anastasi from Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Tempe answers some of the most common questions.
(Courtesy Condor)...
Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines shows passion for destinations from Sky Harbor with new-look aircraft

Condor Airlines brings passion to each flight and connects people to their dream destinations throughout the world.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Most plumbing problems can be fixed with regular maintenance

Instead of waiting for a problem to happen, experts suggest getting a head start on your plumbing maintenance.
AP PHOTOS: Coca town cracks down on alcohol to fight rapes