Peru: Nowhere to Put The Dead

Peru is running out of places to bury their dead. The Global Pandemic has strained Peru’s graveyard space to the point of breaking. Families are being forced to bury their dead in backyards and remote open space.

“If there is no solution, then there will be a space here,” Yeni Bautista told The Associated Press, explaining the family’s decision to dig at the foot of a tropical hibiscus tree after her brother’s body began to decompose.

AP News

The same plight is shared by other families across Peru. After struggling to control the coronavirus pandemic for more than a year, the country now faces a parallel crisis: a lack of cemetery space. The problem affects everyone, not just relatives of COVID-19 victims, and some families have acted on their own, digging clandestine graves in areas surrounding some of Lima’s 65 cemeteries.

AP News

Even when cemetery space can be found, burials pose a huge financial burden, especially for families who have fallen into poverty because of COVID-19. The cost of a burial in a cemetery on the edge of Lima is nearly $1,200, almost five times the monthly minimum wage of $244.

AP News

This is a problem we have not heard about. Though honestly, where there is space, we would appreciate being able to have our loved ones buried on our property. It may seem unusual but not so long ago this is the way it was all the time. It was this way until the government forced families to use paid plots. Of course our hearts go out to the Peruvian victims of COVID.

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