Thursday, January 22, 2009

More proof of human stupidity

This sentence recently appeared in a serious news report in the Economist:

[E]fforts to convict albino-killers have been thwarted by a rotten judicial system, with witch doctors using bribery or threats of spells to escape trial.
If humans were truly rational beings, that sentence would never have to be written.

Alas, the killing of albinos has spread outside Tanzania’s borders to Kenya, Uganda and particularly Burundi. On January 2nd an eight-year-old albino boy living in Burundi was hacked to death in front of his mother. The killers took his arms and legs. ...

Investigators say the body parts of a single murdered albino sell for over $1,000, with the skin and flesh dried out and set into amulets and the bones ground down into a powder. Artisanal miners in the gold and diamond fields directly south of Lake Victoria are the main buyers. Some sprinkle albino powder on the walls of their narrow pits, hoping for glitter. Uneducated and desperate to strike riches, they are taken in by witch doctors’ stories of the wealth-giving properties of the potions.


Anonymous said...

Pretty helpful info, lots of thanks for this article.
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