A couple of months ago I'd posted a link to a story that seemed absurd, incredible, and sickening. I couldn't believe, yet was struck, by a story describing Tanzania's witch doctors using the body parts of albinos in rituals to bring good fortune to patients... I suppose unless one's patient was an albino. That post became one of the most viewed posts I'd ever done surrounded by quirky views on cereal boxes, Sesame Street, Web 2.0 and popular media.
This follow-up story from Burundi shows that the practice is not limited to Tanzania, but at least, it seems, the authorities in Burundi are making arrests. Those charged, found with albino bones, have largely been middlemen harvesting bodies for profit.
"At least eight people have been arrested in Burundi in connection with a trade in human body parts from people with albinism. Those detained had fresh body parts in their possession, police say. Witchdoctors in the region tell clients that potions made with albino body parts will bring them luck in love, life and business."
That one of the comments on my post of a few months ago thanked me for helping to expose this story was shocking in that I would've guessed those concerned would find my idiotic ramblings anything but illuminating. If, for no other reason, that so many people seemed to get something from that post, I humbly offer up my outrage, my further incredulity, and my sympathy to those affected.