17 January 2010

Two interesting articles about Haiti

1) Haitian Vodou leaders are complaining about the use of fast, mass graves to accommodate the large death toll without proper religious rites. The head houngan for the country, Max Beauvoir, made the point that it amounts to desecration of the corpses. This leads to an interesting question about the balancing of religious sensibilities and public health. How quickly could these bodies be buried properly? (I assume that it would involve at least some attempt at identification, plus burial rites.) The Red Cross, on the other hand, has said explicitly that the corpses do not pose a health risk. Wouldn't it be smart to handle the dead (and their living relatives) with as much dignity as possible?

2) At the same time, Chavez is accusing the US of using the disaster as a pretext for occupying the country. I know that it's Chavez, but I was hoping for better this time. Yes, the US is sending troops to keep order since the entire Haitian government has broken down. I wonder how Chavez would like to be in a Venezuela in similar circumstances?

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