A vigilante ( // , // ; from the Spanish word for watchman ) is a civilian or an organization that acts in a law enforcement capacity (or in the pursuit of self-perceived justice) without legal authority.
Spanish or Castilian, is a Romance language that originated in the Iberian Peninsula and today has hundreds of millions of native speakers in Spain and the Americas. It is a global language and the world's second-most spoken native language, after Mandarin Chinese.
In general, a civilian is "a person who is not a member of the military or of a police or firefighting force". The definition distinguishes from persons whose duties involves risking their lives to protect the public at large from hazardous situations such as terrorism, riots, conflagrations, or wars. "Criminals" are also excluded from the category.
Law enforcement is any system by which some members of society act in an organized manner to enforce the law by discovering, deterring, rehabilitating, or punishing people who violate the rules and norms governing that society. Although the term encompasses entities such as courts and prisons, it is most frequently applied to those who directly engage in patrols or surveillance to dissuade and discover criminal activity, and those who investigate crimes and apprehend offenders, a task typically carried out by the police or another law enforcement organization. Furthermore, although law enforcement may be most concerned with the prevention and punishment of crimes, organizations exist to discourage a wide variety of non-criminal violations of rules and norms, effected through the imposition of less severe consequences.
"Vigilante justice" is often rationalized by the belief that proper legal forms of criminal punishment are either non-existent, insufficient, or inefficient. Vigilantes normally see the government as ineffective in enforcing the law; such individuals often claim to justify their actions as a fulfillment of the wishes of the community.
Persons alleged to be escaping the law or above the law are sometimes the victims of vigilantism.
Vigilante conduct involves varied degrees of violence. Vigilantes could assault targets verbally and/or physically, damage and/or vandalize property, or even murder individuals.
In a number of cases, vigilantism has involved targets with mistaken identities.
Pedophilia is a psychiatric disorder in which an adult or older adolescent experiences a primary or exclusive sexual attraction to prepubescent children. Although girls typically begin the process of puberty at age 10 or 11, and boys at age 11 or 12, criteria for pedophilia extend the cut-off point for prepubescence to age 13. A person must be at least 16 years old, and at least five years older than the prepubescent child, for the attraction to be diagnosed as pedophilia.
Sarah Evelyn Isobel Payne, an 8-year-old school girl, was the victim of a high-profile abduction and murder in England in July 2000. The subsequent investigation became a prominent case in the United Kingdom. Her murderer, Roy Whiting, was convicted in December 2001 and sentenced to life imprisonment.
Vigilantism and the vigilante ethos existed long before the word vigilante was introduced into the English language. There are conceptual and psychological parallels between the Dark Age and medieval aristocratic custom of private war or vendetta and the modern vigilante philosophy.
The aristocracy is a social class that a particular society considers its highest order. In many states, the aristocracy included the upper class of people (aristocrats) with hereditary rank and titles. In some—such as ancient Greece, Rome, and India—aristocratic status came from belonging to a military caste, although it has also been common, notably in African societies, for aristocrats to belong to priestly dynasties. Aristocratic status can involve feudal or legal privileges. They are usually below only the monarch of a country or nation in its social hierarchy. In modern European societies, the aristocracy has often coincided with the nobility, a specific class that arose in the Middle Ages, but the term "aristocracy" is sometimes also applied to other elites, and is used as a more generic term when describing earlier and non-European societies.
A feud, referred to in more extreme cases as a blood feud, vendetta, faida, clan war, gang war, or private war, is a long-running argument or fight, often between social groups of people, especially families or clans. Feuds begin because one party perceives itself to have been attacked, insulted, or wronged by another. Intense feelings of resentment trigger the initial retribution, which causes the other party to feel equally aggrieved and vengeful. The dispute is subsequently fuelled by a long-running cycle of retaliatory violence. This continual cycle of provocation and retaliation makes it extremely difficult to end the feud peacefully. Feuds frequently involve the original parties' family members or associates, can last for generations, and may result in extreme acts of violence. They can be interpreted as an extreme outgrowth of social relations based in family honor.
Elements of the concept of vigilantism can be found in the Biblical account in Genesis 34 of the abduction and rape (or, by some interpretations, seduction) of Dinah, the daughter of Jacob, in the Canaanite city of Shechem by the eponymous son of the ruler, and the violent reaction of her brothers Simeon and Levi, who slew all of the males of the city in revenge, rescued their sister and plundered Shechem. When Jacob protested that their actions might bring trouble upon him and his family, the brothers replied "Should he [i.e., Shechem] treat our sister as a harlot?"
The Book of Genesis, the first book of the Hebrew Bible and the Old Testament, is Judaism's account of the creation of the world and the origins of the Jewish people. It is divisible into two parts, the Primeval history and the Ancestral history. The primeval history sets out the author's concepts of the nature of the deity and of humankind's relationship with its maker: God creates a world which is good and fit for mankind, but when man corrupts it with sin God decides to destroy his creation, saving only the righteous Noah to reestablish the relationship between man and God. The Ancestral History tells of the prehistory of Israel, God's chosen people. At God's command Noah's descendant Abraham journeys from his home into the God-given land of Canaan, where he dwells as a sojourner, as does his son Isaac and his grandson Jacob. Jacob's name is changed to Israel, and through the agency of his son Joseph, the children of Israel descend into Egypt, 70 people in all with their households, and God promises them a future of greatness. Genesis ends with Israel in Egypt, ready for the coming of Moses and the Exodus. The narrative is punctuated by a series of covenants with God, successively narrowing in scope from all mankind to a special relationship with one people alone.
In the Book of Genesis, Dinah was the daughter of Jacob, one of the patriarchs of the Israelites, and Leah, his first wife. The episode of her violation by Shechem, son of a Canaanite or Hivite prince, and the subsequent vengeance of her brothers Simeon and Levi, commonly referred to as the rape of Dinah, is told in Genesis 34.
Jacob, later given the name Israel, is regarded as a Patriarch of the Israelites. According to the Book of Genesis, Jacob was the third Hebrew progenitor with whom God made a covenant. He is the son of Isaac and Rebecca, the grandson of Abraham, Sarah and Bethuel, the nephew of Ishmael, and the younger twin brother of Esau. Jacob had twelve sons and at least one daughter, by his two wives, Leah and Rachel, and by their handmaidens Bilhah and Zilpah.
Similarly, in 2 Samuel 13 , Absalom kills his brother Amnon after King David, their father, fails to punish Amnon for raping Tamar, their sister.
Absalom, according to the Hebrew Bible, was the third son of David, King of Israel with Maacah, daughter of Talmai, King of Geshur.
Amnon was the oldest son of King David and his third wife, Ahinoam of Jezreel. He was born in Hebron during his father's reign in Judah. He was the heir apparent to the throne of Israel until he was assassinated by his half-brother Absalom to avenge the rape of their sister Tamar.
Tamar is a figure described in 2 Samuel in the Hebrew Bible. In the biblical narrative, she is the daughter of King David, and sister of Absalom. In 2 Samuel 13, she is raped by her half-brother Amnon.
Recourse to personal vengeance and dueling was considered a class privilege of the sword-bearing aristocracy before the formation of the modern centralized liberal-bureaucratic nation-state (see Marc Bloch, trans. L. A. Manyon, Feudal Society, Vol. I, 1965, p. 127). In addition, sociologists[ who? ] have posited a complex legal and ethical interrelationship between vigilante acts and rebellion and tyrannicide.
In the Western literary and cultural tradition, characteristics of vigilantism have often been vested in folkloric heroes and legendary outlaws (e.g., Robin Hood). Vigilantism in literature, folklore and legend is connected to the fundamental issues of dissatisfied morality, injustice, the failures of authority and the ethical adequacy of legitimate governance.
During medieval times, punishment of felons was sometimes exercised by such secret societies as the courts of the Vehm(cf. the medieval Sardinian Gamurra later become Barracelli, the Sicilian Vendicatori and the Beati Paoli), a type of early vigilante organization, which became extremely powerful in Westphalian Germany during the 15th century.
Formally-defined vigilantism arose in the early American colonies.
After the founding of the United States, a citizens arrest became known as a procedure, based in common law and protected by the United States Constitution, where an amateur authority figure or normal citizen arrests a fugitive. The exact circumstances under which this type of arrest, sometimes referred to as a detention, can be made varies widely from state to state.
In India, a vigilante refers to a person or group that metes out extralegal punishment to alleged lawbreakers. Vigilantism is also referred to as "mob justice".It is usually caused by perception of corruption and delays in the judicial system.
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As boom-towns, or mining towns in California because of the Gold Rush, started appearing towards the 1850s, vigilantes started taking justice into their own hands because these towns did not have any established forms of government. These people would assault accused thieves, rapists and murderers. When they assaulted these thieves, they would steal their gold and give it to the accuser. Other than reports and newspapers, there are not many records of vigilantes. Few names or groups are known.
Later in the United States, vigilante groups arose in poorly governed frontier areas where criminals preyed upon the citizenry with impunity.
People Against Gangsterism and Drugs (PAGAD) was a vigilante group formed in 1996 in the Cape Flats area of Cape Town, South Africa. The organization was known for its violence against gangsters, engaging in arson and murder. Although PAGAD is much smaller than in the early years since its formation, the organization has been reported to be growing as of 2014.
The Real Irish Republican Army or Real IRA (RIRA), also called the New IRA (NIRA) after a merger in 2012, is a dissident Irish republican paramilitary group which aims to bring about a united Ireland. It formed in 1997 following a split in the Provisional IRA by dissident members, who rejected the IRA's ceasefire that year. Like the Provisional IRA before it, the Real IRA sees itself as the only rightful successor to the original Irish Republican Army and styles itself as simply "the Irish Republican Army" in English or Óglaigh na hÉireann in Irish. It is an illegal organisation in the Republic of Ireland and designated as a proscribed terrorist organisation in the United Kingdom and the United States.
The Irish National Liberation Army is an Irish republican communist paramilitary group formed on 10 December 1974, during "the Troubles". It seeks to remove Northern Ireland from the United Kingdom and create a socialist republic encompassing all of Ireland. It is the paramilitary wing of the Irish Republican Socialist Party (IRSP).
Lynching is a premeditated extrajudicial killing by a group. It is most often used to characterize informal public executions by a mob in order to punish an alleged transgressor, or to intimidate a group. It can also be an extreme form of informal group social control, and it is often conducted with the display of a public spectacle for maximum intimidation. Instances of lynchings and similar mob violence can be found in every society.
The Irish People's Liberation Organisation was a small Irish republican paramilitary organisation which was formed in 1986 by disaffected and expelled members of the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) whose factions coalesced in the aftermath of the supergrass trials. It developed a reputation for intra-republican and sectarian violence and criminality, before being forcibly disbanded by the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) in 1992.
The Bogside is a neighbourhood outside the city walls of Derry, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland. The large gable-wall murals by the Bogside Artists, Free Derry Corner and the Gasyard Féile are popular tourist attractions. The Bogside is a majority Catholic/Irish republican area, and shares a border with the Protestant/Ulster loyalist enclave of the Fountain.
The Irish Mob is an organized crime group in the United States, in existence since the early 19th century. Originating in Irish American street gangs—depicted in Herbert Asbury's 1927 book The Gangs of New York—the Irish Mob has appeared in most major U.S. cities, especially on the east coast, including Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, and Chicago.
Patrick Campbell (1977–1999) was a volunteer in the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) died on 10 October 1999 after being wounded during a conflict in Dublin, Republic of Ireland between the INLA and drug dealers.
The East Harlem Purple Gang was a semi-independent gang of Italian American hit-men and heroin dealers who, according to federal prosecutors, dominated heroin distribution in East Harlem, Italian Harlem, and the Bronx during the late 1970s and early 1980s in New York City. Though mostly independent of the Italian-American Mafia and not an official Mafia crew, the gang was originally affiliated with and worked with the Lucchese crime family and later with the Bonanno crime family and Genovese crime family. It developed its "closest ties" with the Genovese family, and its remnants or former members are now part of the Genovese family's 116th Street Crew.
White caps were groups involved in whitecapping who were operating in southern Indiana in the late 19th century. They engaged in vigilante justice and lynchings and in modern times are often viewed as engaging in terrorism. They became common in the state following the American Civil War and lasted until the turn of the 20th century. White caps were especially active in Crawford and neighboring counties in the late 1880s. Several members of the Reno Gang were lynched in 1868, causing an international incident. Some of the members had been extradited to the United States from Canada and were supposed to be under federal protection. Lynchings continued against other criminals, but when two possibly innocent men were killed in Corydon in 1889, Indiana responded by cracking down on the white cap vigilante groups beginning in the administration of Isaac P. Gray.
This is a timeline of actions by the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA), an Irish republican socialist paramilitary group. Most of these actions took place as part of its 1975–1998 campaign during "the Troubles" in Northern Ireland. The INLA did not start claiming responsibility for its actions under the INLA name until January 1976 at which point they had already killed 12 people, before then they used the names People's Liberation Army(PLA) & People's Republican Army(PRA) to claim its attacks.
Republican Action Against Drugs (RAAD) was an Irish republican vigilante group active mainly in Derry and the surrounding area, including parts of counties Londonderry and Tyrone in Northern Ireland, and parts of County Donegal in the Republic of Ireland. It targeted those who it claimed were drug dealers. The group's methods included shooting the alleged dealers in the arms and legs ; pipe bomb or arson attacks on the property of alleged dealers; and warning, threatening or banishing the alleged dealers.
Rates of crime in Guatemala are very high. An average of 101 murders per week were reported in 2016, making the country's violent crime rate one of the highest in Latin America. In the 1990s Guatemala had four cities feature in Latin America's top ten cities by murder rate: Escuintla, Izabal (127), Santa Rosa Cuilapa (111) and Guatemala City (101). According to New Yorker magazine, in 2009, fewer civilians were reported killed in the war zone of Iraq than were shot, stabbed, or beaten to death in Guatemala, and 97% of homicides "remain unsolved." Much of the violent nature of Guatemalan society stems back to a thirty-year-long civil war. However, not only has violence maintained its presence in the post-war context of the country following the Guatemalan Civil War, but it has extended to broader social and economic forms of violence.
This is a chronology of activities by the Provisional Irish Republican Army, an Irish republican paramilitary group from 2000 to 2009.
Andrew Allen was an Irish murder victim.
Violence against women in Guatemala reached severe levels during the long-running Guatemalan Civil War (1960-1996), and the continuing impact of that conflict has contributed to the present high levels of violence against women in that nation. During the armed conflict, rape was used as a weapon of war.
The Night of the Long Knives is the name given to the night in Belfast of 31 October 1992, when the Provisional IRA's Belfast Brigade launched a large military operation to wipe out the IPLO Belfast Brigade, who most Irish republicans in the city felt were becoming an embarrassment to Irish republicanism due to their involvement in drug dealing, criminality and internal Irish republican feuds.
A sixteen-year-old girl was burned to death in Río Bravo, Suchitepéquez, Guatemala in May 2015 by a vigilante mob after being accused by some of involvement in the killing of a moto taxi driver. A video of the lynching was later uploaded to YouTube and widely circulated on Guatemalan social media.
Michael Barr was shot dead on 25 April 2016 in Ireland.
In India, where cows are venerated by a large segment of the population, cow vigilante violence involving mob attacks in the name of "cow protection" targeting mostly illegal cow smugglers, but in some cases even licensed cow traders, has allegedly swelled since 2014. There is a debate on whether there has actually been any change in the number of such incidences, as Government Data points out to reduced communal tensions post 2014. Cattle slaughter is banned in most states of India. Recently emerged cow vigilante groups, claiming to be protecting cattle, have been violent leading to a number of deaths. Cow-protection groups see themselves as preventing theft, protecting the cow or upholding the law in an Indian state which bans cow slaughter. According to a Reuters report, a total of 63 cow vigilante attacks had occurred in India between 2010 and mid 2017, mostly since the Modi government came to power in 2014. In these attacks between 2010 and June 2017, "28 Indians – 24 of them Muslims – were killed and 124 injured", states the Reuter's report.
The homicide rate between 1847 and 1870 averaged 158 per 100,000 (13 murders per year), which was 10 to 20 times the annual murder rates for New York City during the same period
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