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  • I'm no stranger to male-on-male abuse. Somehow through the miracle of testosterone it becomes ok to demean, mistreat and abuse another male so long as it's done in the name of "bonding," pride or rites of passage. And, somehow, I've often found my way into one or another group that engages in such behavior. I'm not necessarily proud, it's just another aspect of growing up where and when I did.

    Still, today was something new, something bigger. Instead of finding my daily protest, when I looked up the main drag in La Paz to find the source of all the day's explosions (how protests are announced here), I saw a mass of boys *sprinting* down the street. Shaving cream, body paint (I hope) and cut-up clothes swooshed by me in a tangle of song, flags, chanting and school pride.

    It was the "bautizo" (baptism) of all the incoming freshman to a local high school. That meant the older boys - and some parents or teachers - had the right to publicly humiliate the new ones by running them through the streets of downtown La Paz during rush hour. The effect was astonishing, overwhelming, and a little disturbing.

    I have to admit, though, most of the boys - freshman and older ones alike - looked like they were having fun. Most. I'm not sure what's on this young one's face, but I do know that - at least for an afternoon - he was Captain Z.
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