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Monday, June 8, 2009

Tanzanian Albino Trials Begin

12 people are on trial for murdering albinos in Tanzania. The OddBlog has been bringing you reports of the situation: self-proclaimed "witchdoctors" in the African country are concocting and selling potions purported to make the imbiber wealthy. The potions are made of various ingredients, the most gruesome of which is ground bone from an albino. Over 40 regional albinos have been killed in the last 11/2 years, alone.

While there have been numerous arrests, there have been no convictions. Affluential businessmen are said to be the witchdoctors' primary clientele and local police are among the most corrupt in the world. A single potion goes for thousands of dollars in a country where the average annual income is less than $300. Money like that buys a lot of "justice."

Now that the tragedy is getting major media attention worldwide, the ritual killings have abated to some degree these last few months, but albinos are far from safe. Entire families have been hacked to pieces inside their homes, as each part of their body can bring thousands of dollars. Their graves are cemented over to prevent tampering. There are more than 15,000 albinos in the area.

Last month, a similar trial started in neighboring Burundi. It involved a group of 11 men.

© C Harris Lynn, 2009

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