Not Even the Dead are Safe in Caracas

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Quico says: This article by Chris Kraul for the LA Times is instant fodder for the Reader’s Guide.

Skulking in the dead of night in the remote and overgrown Las Pavas section of the Southern Municipal Cemetery, robbers armed with crowbars and sledgehammers first shattered the tomb’s concrete vault and the granite marker that read, “To our dear wife and mother in heaven, Maria de la Cruz Aguero.”

Then they lifted the coffin lid and stole leg bones and the skull of the woman, who had died Sept. 9, 1993. They sold the bones for $20 each, the skull for as much as $300, said Father Atilio Gonzalez, the cemetery’s resident Roman Catholic priest.

It only gets weirder from there, including this jaw dropping tidbit,

On a recent day, the cemetery (del sur) was the scene of a macabre ritual that has become a regular occurrence whenever a young gang member is buried, Gonzalez said. It provided another example of the lawlessness here.

During the funeral procession for a 25-year-old gunshot victim, friends suddenly halted the cortege and removed the corpse from the coffin to give it one last joy ride around the cemetery on the back of a buddy’s motorcycle.

As a final homage before burial, the dead man was given a 30-gun salute — from pistols fired by his pals. One of the bullets punctured the umbrella of Father Gonzalez, who officiated at the burial.

Read the whole thing. No, really, read the whole thing.

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