Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Multicultural disaster response teams are go!

It's all relative, they say.

"In the coastal village Collileufu, Lafkenches carried out a ritual human sacrifice during the days following the main earthquake. Collileufu, located in the Budi Lake area, south of Puerto Saavedra, was by 1960 highly isolated and inhabitants there spoke mainly Mapudungun. The community had gathered in Cerro La Mesa, while the lowlands were struck by successive tsunamis. Juana Namuncura Añen, a local machi, demanded the sacrifice of the grandson of Juan Painecur, a neighbor, in order to calm the earth and the ocean. The victim, 5 year old José Luis Painecur, had his arms and legs removed by Juan Pañán and Juan José Painecur (the victim's grandfather), and was stuck into the sand of the beach like a stake. The waters of the Pacific Ocean then carried the body out to sea. The sacrifice came to be known after a boy in the commune of Nueva Imperial denounced to local leaders the theft of two horses that were allegedly eaten during the sacrifice ritual. The 2 men were charged with the crime of murder and confessed, but later recanted. They were released after 2 years. A judge ruled that those involved had "acted without free will, driven by an irresistible natural force of ancestral tradition." The story was mentioned in a Time magazine article, although with little detail."

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