Markets in everything?

by on November 20, 2009 at 9:49 am in Economics, Law | Permalink

A gang in the remote Peruvian jungle has been killing people for their
fat, the police said Thursday, accusing the gang’s members of draining
fat from bodies and selling it on the black market for use in

Three suspects have confessed to killing five people for their fat,
said Col. Jorge Mejía, chief of Peru’s anti-kidnapping police. He said
the suspects, two of whom were arrested carrying bottles of liquid fat,
told the police it was worth $60,000 a gallon.

Colonel Mejía said
the suspects had told the police that the fat had been sold to
intermediaries in Lima, the capital. While police officials suspect
that the fat was sold to cosmetic companies in Europe, he said he could
not confirm any sales.

That's from The New York Times, not The Weekly World News.  Medical "experts" express varying degrees of skepticism about the depth and liquidity of this market, but if you read the whole article you will encounter some truly graphic descriptions of the production process.  Caveat emptor.

1 David G November 20, 2009 at 10:22 am

$60K a gallon? Is there any truth to the rumor that this is part of the Senate bill to finance health care reform?

And I thought Americans’ primary source of wealth was home ownership.

2 mike p November 20, 2009 at 10:51 am

I’m pretty skeptical about this one. Surely other animal fats are chemically close enough to be substitutes in cosmetic manufacturing.

3 Speedmaster November 20, 2009 at 11:13 am


4 Dennis November 20, 2009 at 11:40 am

A Swedish blogger pointed me to the wikipedia entry about Pishtaco.

5 Thelonious_Nick November 20, 2009 at 11:50 am

If this is the case, why don’t medical clinics pay clients for liposuctions?

6 Michael Scott November 20, 2009 at 12:41 pm

Mike- Human fat is the richest, creamiest fat in the land.

7 David November 20, 2009 at 1:45 pm

All these economists and not one “liquidity trap” joke.

8 Zbicyclist November 20, 2009 at 4:42 pm

Peru? Like in South America? Or the Wal-mart supercenter in one of these:
* Peru, California
* Peru, Illinois
* Peru, Indiana
* Peru, Kansas
* Peru, Maine
* Peru, Massachusetts
* Peru, Nebraska
* Peru, New York
* Peru, Pennsylvania
* Peru, Vermont
* Peru, West Virginia
* Peru, Wisconsin
* Old Peru, Iowa, also called Peru

9 sean November 20, 2009 at 9:57 pm


which one of the options have jungles?

10 Martin November 21, 2009 at 10:57 am

The clue is: “The province is also home to drug-trafficking leftist rebels”. Drug traffickers simulating and using the old Pishtaco myth to get rid of their enemies and clear their way is a likely explanation.

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