Venezuela is in the grip of a voodoo renaissance which is bringing grave robbing to epidemic proportions.
The South American country has seen a huge rise in followers of the voodoo religion Palo Mayombe due to it’s close ties with Cuba, and allegedly because the country’s president, Hugo Chavez is a practitioner.
The voodoo priests, known as “paleros” use human bones during initiation ceremonies into the cult. This has seen the demand for human bones shoot up, and the easiest way to procure them is to steal them from cemeteries. STL Today reports that Milvia Santos took her children to the Municipal Cemetery in Caracas on Mother’s Day only to find her mother’s grave had been vandalised and her skull stolen.
“This was supposed to be my grandmother’s place to rest in peace for eternity. Instead, it was ransacked for black magic rituals.” Santos’ son told reporters.
Venezuelan cemeteries are rapidly becoming no-go areas as the voodoo gangs run wild in them, robbing graves and mourners alike and staging gunfights between the tombstones.
Julian Torres gave another account to the reporters. He told the press how he regularly visited his dead mother’s grave for the past five years, last month he discovered the grave had been disturbed. He asked friends to insect the grave for him.
“Gone were her head and leg bones,” he told reporters. “I never thought this would happen. It’s the witch doctors.”
Rafael Camero, an anthropology professor at the Central University of Venezuela blames the events on the failure of Western civilisation.
“People have lost faith in Western science and traditional values, so they turn to black magic to solve problems that the state can’t.”