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Burning up the dead

A member of the brigades that are incinerating the bodies in Posoltega. Bottom: Members of the Brigade. La Prensa photos.

"Every time I burn the body of a child, it hurts me as if that child were mine, I have a childre around that age and when I get home, I hold him tight" said a worker from the Ministry of Health who is dedicated to the not so easy task of burning bodies in the communities of Posoltega where the volcano slide killed over a thousand.
This health worker has seen more than 100 children bodies in different parts of Posoltega and he alone has burned over 30 of them. "It is horrible to see how the bodies, particularly those of children, move under the fire" he said while he was burning a body that had no head, only one arm and a leg.
He is part of a brigade from the Ministry of Health who everyday go out to burn bodies facing the danger of being contaminated by the bacterias that rotten body produce. One of them already faced almost death when his feet got swollen and his blood was contaminated and had to be taken to the hospital in Chinandega half unconcious. "We sleep on the floor" they said "because MINSA (Ministry of Health) does not provide us even with a hammock. "In Las Casitas volcano they left us alone and we had to drink contaminated water" said another one while continuing to burn bodies. After this is all over, those workers will return home with the images of those bodies that they say every day all day.

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