14 January 2010


The ritual murder and dismemberment of children, and the mutiliation of living ones, is said to be on the rise in [northern?] Uganda. Practitioners believe that in doing so they will please the spirits and gain wealth and power in Uganda's relatively stable and growing economy.

James Nsaba Buturo, Minister of Ethics and Integrity in the government of Uganda, talked to Tim Whewell of the BBC:
Baturo: I believe that [the witch doctors] are directed by spirits, but remember we've got two types of spirits, the good spirits and the evil ones. It is the evil spirits which demand for human blood.

Whewell: Just to be clear then those evil spirits do exist?

Baturo: They do, my God, they do indeed! We accept they do in every society mind you, but we don't have to listen to them.

Whewell: ...shouldn't the government simply be saying there are no evil spirits full stop?

Baturo: If we were to do that, that would be false because they are there anyway. And people see it. They know, they see, and it's as well that we speak the truth about these matters. There is no merit at all you can attach to these spirits, but they are there.
More at Crossing Continents and Newsnight.

Last year Tom Holland recalled:
Tlaloc, [Aztec] god of the rains, the most primordial god of all...whose favour could be won only by the sacrifice of small children who had first been made to cry.

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