Terror in Mennonite Bolivia


In an extraordinarily disturbing Vice article, Jean Friedman-Rudovsky describes an ultra-conservative Mennonite colony in Bolivia in which a horrifying series of rapes occurred (and may still be occurring): a group of men used aerosol cow tranquilizers to incapacitate entire households and then rape women and girls while they were unconscious.

Somehow, that’s only part of the horror of daily life in the community, where incest is common, technology as simple as rubber tires is forbidden, and people are discouraged from actually reading the Bible lest they challenge the church council’s authority. It’s an essential read, if you can stomach it.

Lauren O'Neal is an MFA student at San Francisco State University. Her writing has appeared in publications like Slate, The New Inquiry, and The Hairpin. You can follow her on Twitter at @laureneoneal. More from this author →