Report: Tanzanian Albinos Being Killed And Eaten In Folk Medicines

Albinistic_girl_papua_new_guineaThere is a highly disturbing, and disgusting, story out of Tanzania involving the systemic killing of albinos to eat their hair and flesh as part of African medicines. What is most striking disclosure is that witch doctors are behind the murders and have been found to pay $600, in one case, for the severed arm of a young girl. Yet, despite over 70 such murders, only 10 have resulted in charges because (according to some in the country) powerful families believe in and use albino medicines prepared by witch doctors.

The plight of these some 30,000 albinos is almost too horrific to contemplate. With all of the poverty and hunger and disease in the country, they also have to worry about witch doctors sending thugs to cut off their limbs or kill them for folk medicine. Given the high cost of albino medicines, it is the wealthiest families that are fueling the crimes in the view of activists. Witch doctors are actually licensed in Tanzania and these medicines are widely viewed as holding powerful mythical qualities.

The general view that powerful families are deterring efforts to investigate and prosecute these offenses is particularly troubling. It brings to mind the continued importations of endangered species body parts to China with the support of powerful Chinese. However, this involves the murder and digestion of human beings as part of the same type of primitive mythologies.

Source: BBC

14 thoughts on “Report: Tanzanian Albinos Being Killed And Eaten In Folk Medicines”

  1. The only solution is take an albino baby away from the area this happens in, minds cannot be changed. Allowing an albino baby to grow up with that threat is as bad as killers. I know the agony for mothers would be horrible, but having children grow and then be killed to would be far worse.

  2. I have read about this cruel and savage persecution of albinos for years. Witch doctors in Africa are responsible for perpetuating some seriously brutal “remedies”, such as raping virgins as a “cure” for AIDS. The victims are getting younger and younger, and usually are infected themselves, poor lambs.

    It is patently unsafe for albinos to live in the African continent, not just Tanzania. I believe they should automatically be granted refugee status in immigration applications. In addition to being at high risk for being maimed by savage gangs, most African communities do not have access to sunscreen, which is unnecessary for most people there. Albinos, however, often develop skin cancer or blindness, if they survive the murderous gangs that long.

    My heart goes out to these kids.

  3. This is certainly outrageous on all levels.

    The government needs to get serious about the matter and provide a great effort in setting up a widespread investigation to put an end to this nightmare. It needs to be systemic on more than just a criminal justice issue but in my view the CJ issue should comprise most of the resources.

    Unfortunately, and sadly, the stark reality of such an investigation is likely to take years and during this time there are going to be many who will suffer during the time it will take to dismantle the criminal structure that fosters these these acts but it can be done.

    A possible alternate method could be to take down this organization step by step but my initial feeling, not knowing the structure of this type of trafficking, is that the powers to be will then find ways to circumvent the enforcement efforts if low level actors are taken out of the process, and so I tend to favor a large scale shutdown where a great many top level actors are snagged at once.

  4. Al O’Heem: Dark Comedy. shame shame shame.

    I would say though that this practice should ensure all African albinos asylum status in the U.S.
    Who can argue that this isn’t exactly what the asylum statutes describe.

  5. It does bring to mind the Chinese hold up their diplomatic plane so they could load it with ivory, although they have signed a treaty saying they will no longer use ivory for carving.

  6. I didn’t know that the term ‘albino’ was politically correct? Is it? Anyway, this is nothing new. For 1000s of years, human beings have been eating each other, sacrificing their children (and sometimes, themselves) in fires, giving birth to children and then, immediately dumping the children in the trash, etc….

    ‘Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold….’ Matthew 24:12

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