Sigma: Journal of Political and International Studies


Bryant McConkie


vigilante attacks, mob violence, Guatemala


Ripped from his home in Concepción, Guatemala, the evening of October 13, 2015, Mayor Bacilio Juracán was brutally beaten, doused with gasoline, and burned to death by attackers convinced he had orchestrated the murder of a political rival they supported. In just this one isolated incident, the town hall, various cars, and at least six additional buildings were burned along with the mayor (“Linchan y Queman” 2015). A growing number of similar lynchings—vigilante attacks in which victims of the mob are severely injured or killed—across Guatemala have thrust Guatemalan vigilantism into the public consciousness, perplexing governments and political theorists alike for almost twenty-five years.