A video has emerged of a woman subjected to a vicious whipping at the hands of a vigilante court in the highlands of Northern Peru.
The woman was accused of cheating on her husband with her 20-year-old nephew.
Apparently the woman took advantage of her husband travelling to Spain to work in order to seduce the young man.
The woman admitted her errors before an assembly made up of local towns people and vigilante enforcers known as ‘ronderos’.
They encircled her as her sentence of five blows from a wooden stick was handed down.
Another woman can be heard chastizing her: “You’ve got young daughters, learn how to raise them. Where is their father? Sacrificing himself so they can have a better life. Why do you do these evils?”
The woman’s lover, accused of cattle rustling and an attempted murder, was also judged but does not appear to have been beaten.
‘Ronderos’ came into prominence during Peru’s civil war of the late ’80s and early ’90s when the leftist terrorist group Sendero Luminoso waged a war against government forces. Often subject to brutality by both sides, many communities decided to take matters into their own hands and form self defence groups to protect themselves. In the end they became the most effective line of defence against the terrorists and the Government helped arm them.
Following the war they have remained an important institution for maintaining law and order in Peru’s highlands and jungle where the State has little or no presence.
The order they seek to maintain however, is often based on highly conservative customary mores which do not provide equal treatment to men and women.