I suppose this is good news, sort of

by on August 19, 2010 at 1:22 pm in Law, Medicine | Permalink

A court in Tanzania has sentenced a Kenyan accused of trying to sell an albino to 17 years in jail and a fine of more than $50,000 (£41,200).

Albino body parts are valued highly in parts of East Africa and many albinos have been enslaved and/or murdered as a result.  It is believed that since 2007 there have been 53 albino killings in Tanzania.  The full story is here and I thank Ashok Hariharan for the pointer.

File under "Thwarted Markets in Everything."

john August 19, 2010 at 1:41 pm

At first I took this link to be about rhinos.

This is worse than I thought.

J. Daniel Wright August 19, 2010 at 3:26 pm

I’m not clear on this. Does albino refer to people? If so, was he trying to sell them dead or alive?

Kelvin August 19, 2010 at 4:39 pm

Ken: I assume those modifiers are in contrast to the ideal where demand for such barbarity would not exist, and there would not be anyone to punish.

Steko August 19, 2010 at 11:32 pm

According to my copy of The Bell Curve, the high rate at which East African albinos are murdered is their own fault.

Careless August 20, 2010 at 1:17 am

the high rate at which East African albinos are murdered is their own fault.

Have you ever heard anyone suggesting that the murder rate in East Africa is not the fault of East Africans?

nyongesa August 20, 2010 at 2:32 am

Steko: “the high rate at which East African albinos are murdered is their own fault”

Touches on some of What is driving this fright full practice..the operative term is “East Africans”. The unifying of these once disparate groups into single cultural and economic spheres, is driving the spread of this barbaric practice.

In the Western highlands of East Africa, albinoism is genetically prevalent among the local population, as well as, a strong culture of traditional herbal medicine, or “witchcraft”, BUT no tradition of harming Albino’s, let alone discriminating against them, who are a common within the populace.

In neighboring Tanzania, the dominant culture is based around coastal elites for which, traditional medicine is practiced, but albinoism is genetically rare. The confluence of strong cultural beliefs with access and exposure to populations that historically had little interaction has become a driving force of the spread of this practice.

Becoming East Africans, versus, simply Luo, Kakwa or Chege, has exposed some of the citizenry of the region to the darkest corners of the broader populations imagination.

chris August 20, 2010 at 10:13 am

Thwarted Markets in Everything

Except they’re not really thwarted, are they? Does anyone expect one prosecution to stop an illegal trade in anything? On the other hand you can’t really call it a “black market” when it involves albinos, even in Africa…

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: