Brazil offers to build Voodoo cemetery for Haiti quake dead

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Pastor Dale Morgan

Jan 16, 2010, 10:24:09 AM1/16/10
*Perilous Times

Brazil offers to build Voodoo cemetery for Haiti quake dead*

Brasilia (AFP) Jan 16, 2010

Brazil is offering to build a cemetery in Haiti for the thousands killed
in this week's quake, and promising it will respect the Voodoo beliefs
of part of the Caribbean country's population, officials said Thursday.

The proposal stemmed from the "great concern over the presence of
abandoned bodies in the streets, which could create epidemics," the
defense ministry said in a statement.

"Some people are burying their dead on the sides of hills, which risks
the corpses emerging when it rains," it noted.

"A special attention will be given to adherents of Voodoo, a religion
with a strong following in Haiti," the statement said.

One of the considerations in that regard is that "relatives do not
accept that anybody touches their dead until their rituals are over."

Voodoo was brought to Haiti from Africa during the time of slavery. A
version of it called Candomble exists in Brazil, which also became home
to a large African slave population.

Brazil is among the leading countries providing aid to Haiti because of
its military command of the UN peacekeeping force that has been in the
country since 2004.

The cemetery issue was one of several points contained in an emergency
plan Brazil is proposing for the quake-hit Haitian capital Port-au-Prince.

Other initiatives include the setting up of field hospitals, debris
clearing, security, and the distribution of food and water.

Haitian officials estimate that the number of dead from the temblor
could be more than 200,000.

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