This campaign born on Facebook, based on an initiative of a communicator to use social networks to supposedly give a message against insecurity, has now gone out of the hands of both the population and the authorities. In this regard, we are seeing day by day several cases of people who are using this campaign as a pretext to take justice into their own hands by applying the law of the taleon.
In the first place, we must understand why the general population has accepted this campaign, it is only and exclusively because they feel that the insecurity that is being experienced is not controlled by any authority, be it police, prosecutor or judicial. I understand the ordinary citizen who questions impunity more than insecurity, perceives that there is impunity against the criminality that is experienced in the country, violating the rights of another person enshrined in the Constitution and in the American Convention on Human Rights.
Secondly, it is worth mentioning the variants that this campaign has undergone, first it was “chapa tu choro”, then “chapa tu choro y dejalo paralitico” and currently in San Jeronimo del Cuzco, the authorities themselves launch the campaign “chapa tu choro y azótalo”, giving the alleged offender 580 chicotazos in an official ceremony in the town, that is to say that by whipping them they will dissuade and prevent crime, this should be understood by the influence of the peasant patrols and their communal justice.
We must specify that this campaign in any of its variants, has legal consequences, both for the instigators and the followers of the same. People who incite or instigate to follow this campaign could be denounced, as has happened with the creator of the campaign, for the crime of instigation and apology and could receive prison sentences ranging from 8 to 15 years.
Persons who incur in illegal acts based on the aforementioned campaign, seeking justice by their own hand and cause injuries can be sentenced to 4 to 8 years and if the product of such injuries is subsequent death, the penalty would be from 6 to 20 years, it would be treated as a simple homicide.
However, currently we are seeing cases from people who are accused by the population as alleged perpetrators of crime and are lynched or burned alive, if the death of these people occurs, the penalty can be no less than 15 years to 35 years as maximum penalty because it would be a murder that would obviously be within the criminal type of homicide qualified by the ferocity, cruelty and fire used as the case may be.
The population that seeks to take justice into their own hands, applying the law of the taleon is wrong, because generally it is not that there has been impunity in most cases but that the offence has not been accredited with suitable evidence and much less the presumption of innocence that all people have can be violated, the only thing that is generated with this campaign is more violence in the population, nothing beneficial will result, and as Mahatma Gandi said: “An eye for an eye and everyone goes blind”.
Faced with this overwhelming situation, the Peruvian state has issued Legislative Decree No. 1194 which has created the Flagrancy Courts that will come into force from December 2th with the intention that both prosecutors and judges have legal tools against crime caught in flagrancy and according to criminal legislation and criminal procedure, The processes can be immediate, seeking with the flagrancy that justice will be much faster with the purpose of creating in the population a feeling that there is no longer impunity and that criminals will be punished immediately because as the old adage says “justice that takes time is not justice”.
By Jorge Fernandez