This book grounds an understanding of lynching as an increasingly globalised phenomenon through an examination of two cases in Guatemala.
The chapters cover issues of migration, tourism, gangs, inter-generational conflict, media, gossip, and rumour to understand national and global patterns of mob-based vigilantism and how diverse factors are funnelled into singular acts of violence. Gavin Weston critically engages with the discussion of Guatemalan lynchings as a form of post-conflict violence alongside other less direct chains of causation. Lynchings have complex, tiered causations based in contestations regarding ideas and provision of justice. Underlying social problems and similarities in the way lynchings spread through talk and media make them relatively anticipatable in certain contexts and suggest possible spaces for mitigation against their viral spread.
This volume will be relevant to Latin Americanists and those interested in the anthropology and sociology of violence, post-conflict violence, and peace studies.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 – Introduction: Two lynchings – a microcosm
Chapter 2 – Todos Santos
Chapter 3 – A Post-war Phenomenon?
Chapter 4 – Vigilantism, Dissonance, and the Guatemalan State
Chapter 5 – Scapegoats, Gossip, and Rumour
Chapter 6 – Dissemination: Vigilantism, and the Media
Chapter 7 – The Blurred Boundaries of Violence
Chapter 8 – Concluding thoughts/lingering problems
Gavin Weston is Lecturer in the Department of Anthropology at Goldsmiths, University of London, UK.