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THE CHALLENGE: DEFENDING ALBINO-MURDERING WITCH DOCTORS

Now here’s a challenge for defense attorneys: defending 12 witch doctors and their henchmen in their trial in the country of Tanzania for murdering albinos and dismembering them to make good luck charms (Yes, that’s right, witch doctors and their body-dismembering henchmen, presumably all hunchbacks named Igor.). The potions and various body parts of the murdered people are sold for thousands of dollars, the promise being that these things will bring prosperity and good fortune. Not for the albinos, of course, who are dead as hell, but for the gruesome assholes dumb enough and callous enough to believe that anything good can come of butchering their fellow human beings. In the past 18 months alone, 46 albino people have been murdered in Tanzania.

As it turns out, mounting a defense for these serial killers is not all that daunting of a task. For many years this practice has been going on, with even local police and government officials in on the action, and no one gets convicted for these heinous acts. Tanzania’s justice system is notoriously slow and very corrupt. In spite of a lot of blathering from Tanzanian officials and the international community, it is still open season on albinos. Prominent businessmen and high officials are good customers of the albino serial killers, so that throws another monkey wrench into gaining justice for the dead. And when you operate in a country with an average per-capita income of $521 a year, the murder-for-profit rings sort of have to deal with the affluent in order to make the big profits.

And when the affluent and influential are your customers, the likelihood of you getting convicted for being a combination Charles Manson, Jeffrey Dahmer and John Wayne Gacy are slim to none. Relax, defense attorneys, defending such as these is a piece of cake in Tanzania. Spread a few bribes around, maybe including some good luck albino toes or genitals, and witnesses and evidence disappear and your clients walk, free to begin their killing sprees once again. So it seems that the daunting task here is that of the prosecutors of these monsters, and also the educators in that nation. When a place is so backward and bloodthirsty that the general impression is that it is okay to kill and dismember human beings for fun and profit, there are more problems than mere corruption going on.  

Just the fact that witch doctors exist and prosper speaks volumes. Is anybody playing the sacred “cultural differences” card on this one? You know, the gambit that monsters from other nations use successfully to enslave half their populations (the female half), practice sexual mutilation and honor killings, engage in public stoning, amputations and beheadings, tyrannize minority populations and commit acts of genocide. Yeah, that card, the one used so successfully by oil-exporting tyrannies. When you compare albino hunting with some of these universally overlooked atrocities, it doesn’t seem all that out of line with “acceptable” criminal behavior. 

Now when you factor in that Tanzania has recently started exporting large quantities of natural gas, well, that’s a horse of a different color. Countries in dire need of natural gas just might have to start considering albino slaughter a cherished cultural difference that ought to be unmentioned by Western cultural chauvinists seeking to impose their own values on a sovereign nation and culture. The West has shown time and again that cultural differences are to be most respected in nations that have something we need and that money trumps morality every time. 

The fact that virtually every nation on earth is a signatory to the United Nations Charter that expressly forbids abhorrent behavior of this sort no matter what the culture of the signatories, money makes too many of us look the other way. So good luck to Tanzania’s prosecutors and the law abiding majority of their citizens who are sickened by this vicious aberration and seek justice and reform. And even better luck to Tanzania’s hundreds of thousands of albinos. May they be ever-vigilant and extraordinarily fleet of foot.

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