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Judicial CP - June 2000

Reuters, 4 June 2000

Colombian tribe whips cheating lovers

BOGOTA, June 4 (Reuters) - Colombian Indians meted out a sure-fire passion-killer on Sunday to a cheating tribal governor and his mistress -- 17 strokes with a knotted leather whip.

Elders of the native Paez tribe took turns administering the flogging to Ermes Taqninaf and his lover Rubiela Yetacue, who were caught having an extra-marital affair in the southwest Indian town of Santander de Quilichao. RCN television news showed the couple wincing in pain and tears welling up in their eyes as they were ceremonially beaten in front of the entire community.

"That was the first time (I had an extra-marital affair) and I won't do it again,'' Yetacue said after the flogging.

"As a Paez Indian, I'm proud to have received this punishment because it is glorifying my race,'' said Taqninaf, a local tribal governor who had cheated on his wife of 28 years, according to RCN.

By law, Colombia's 85 Indian communities are allowed to apply traditional and often very strict punishments to wrongdoers within the tribe.

In mid-1998, the Paez Indians placed Sen. Jesus Pinacue, also a Paez, on trial after he defied a community order and publicly backed one of the candidates in a presidential vote.

As punishment, tribal elders stripped him naked in front of the rest of the community and dumped him into a freezing mountain lake.

14:45 06-04-00

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