Angry Haitian mobs have lynched at least 40 people in recent weeks, accusing them of spreading a cholera outbreak that has killed over 2,500 people across the country, officials said Wednesday.
The number included at least 14 suspected sorcerers previously known to have been lynched in the far southwestern region of Grand Anse as local people feared they were spreading cholera with a magical substance.
This is not an unexpected situation in a primitive, peasant society. One day you entire family is fine and the next day everyone falls ill and starts to die while your neighbors remain healthy. There is nothing different between your living conditions, and those of your neighbors. In a superstitious society, it does not take much to create a rumor that blames someone for spreading “powder” or some other influence in to the situation, causing sickness and death.
Poisons are not an unknown thing in Haiti.
The traditional Voodoo priests – Houngans – must make an effort to spread the true reality among their people.
The government must assist in this. Unfortunately, the Preval team has abandoned any effort to really deal with the cholera epidemic.
In the northwest of Haiti, government representatives have interfered in ONG efforts to fight the epidemic to the point where many have pulled out. The government has insisted hat all medicine be turned over to government agents. Then these agents and agencies have been fighting among themselves.
The peasant suffers, as usual.