“We have lost faith in the police,” explained Cecilia García Rodríguez, the creator Catch Your Thief (Chapa tu choro), a nationwide campaign to promote vigilante justice in Peru.Cecilia had caught a thief in her home, but when she called police they freed him in half an hour. An experience apparently common in Peru;
On August 18, García Rodríguez put up the first sign in her neighborhood: “Crooks, if we catch you, we won’t call the police, we are going to lynch you.”
Approximately 1/3 of Peruvians have been victimized by criminals.As the campaign went viral, social media users began posting pictures and footage showing alleged criminals receiving punishments ranging from brutal beatings to forced military exercises.
In late August, a Facebook event called “Catch Your Thief and Leave Him Paralytic” amassed 60,000 attendees before it was taken down, according to local daily El Comercio.
Of all the Americas, Peruvians are the least confident in their judiciary. A mere 34 percent told LAPOP [Latin American Public Opinion Project] that they trusted the enforcement of the law.