European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research

, Volume 20, Issue 4, pp 445–457 | Cite as

Church Theft, Insecurity, and Community Justice: The Reality of Source-End Regulation of the Market for Illicit Bolivian Cultural Objects

  • Donna YatesEmail author


In 2012 two men were lynched in Bolivia, first because there is an illicit market for Bolivian cultural objects, and second because a small, poor community turned to desperate measures to protect themselves from that illicit market due to the failings of national and international regulation. This paper is a case study of the reality of source-end regulation of an international criminal market in a developing country. I will discuss what is known about thefts from Bolivian churches, the international market for items stolen from these churches, and how such thefts are meant to be prevented on-the ground. Following this, I will present lynching in Bolivia as the most severe community response to the issues created by local politics, ineffectual policing, unenforceable laws, and a history of oppressive racism. I will conclude with a discussion of what we can reasonably hope to accomplish with source-end regulation.


Antiquities trafficking Bolivia Church theft Criminal markets Lynching 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht (outside the USA) 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research, School of Social and Political SciencesUniversity of GlasgowGlasgowUK

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