Published on Al Jazeera, on 18th of July 2016
CAJAMARCA, Peru – First, the boy has to do thirty push-ups while he gets whipped on his back. When afterwards he gets up exhausted, he is asked again to confess. Last night, the neighbors saw him climb over the fence of the construction site where he works. A hammer, a water pump, and a wrench are missing, and the boy didn’t show up for work today. So for the rondas urbanas (urban patrols) this is a clear case: the boy is guilty.
Another hundred squats follow, after which Justo Vargas Sánchaz, president of the rondas urbanas in Cajamarca, asks the boy again for a confession. But, this time he warns the boy: if he doesn’t confess, they will take him up the hill, take off his clothes, and leave him there for the night. At 3,000 meters, it’s cold out there. The boy keeps denying he stole anything.