A near lynching (Drive Day 49 minus 14 years)

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Another day another boat ride, this one across Lake Atitlan to Santiago Atitlan. Wipeout is back at the casita with Susie, recuperating after another night filled with panic attacks. What happens here almost gives me one.

Santiago Atitlan, Guatemala: photo by Gary Geboy

Shawn says it’s some sort of a community trial, the custom in remote indigenous villages. The plaza is packed with men wearing identical traje and I can’t understand the language spoken by a wildly gesticulating man on stage. But there’s no mistaking his anguish, or that it’s directed at another man bound in chains. Who is clearly guilty of something horrible and I want to leave before we inadvertently watch a mob take revenge. But at the last minute, a police van pulls up to the stage and the criminal is shoved inside. The crowd refuses to part at first, angry spectators rocking the van as it creeps forward. They don’t write about this in the Lonely Planet.

Follow this bonus-material blog and ride along on a one-year road trip that inspired the memoir The Drive: Searching for Lost Memories on the Pan American Highway. On sale now. Get yours through the buy-the-book links at the bottom of the landing page on my teresabrucebooks.com website or here or here. Like The Drive’s Facebook page and tweet back at me @writerteresa.

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