Brazil is offering to build a cemetery in Haiti for the thousands killed in this week's quake, and promising it will respect the Voodoo beliefs of part of the Caribbean country's population, officials say.
The proposal stemmed from the "great concern over the presence of abandoned bodies in the streets, which could create epidemics," the defence ministry said in a statement on Thursday.
"Some people are burying their dead on the sides of hills, which risks the corpses emerging when it rains," it noted.
"A special attention will be given to adherents of Voodoo, a religion with a strong following in Haiti," the statement said.
One of the considerations in that regard is that "relatives do not accept that anybody touches their dead until their rituals are over."
Voodoo was brought to Haiti from Africa during the time of slavery. A version of it called Candomble exists in Brazil, which also became home to a large African slave population.
Brazil is among the leading countries providing aid to Haiti because of its military command of the UN peacekeeping force that has been in the country since 2004.
The cemetery issue was one of several points contained in an emergency plan Brazil is proposing for the quake-hit Haitian capital Port-au-Prince.
Other initiatives include the setting up of field hospitals, debris clearing, security, and the distribution of food and water.
Haitian officials estimate that the number of dead from the temblor could range anywhere from 50,000 to more than 100,000.
Haiti has already buried 7,000 quake dead-president
I know talking about burying the dead makes things that much more real (at least I felt so) but it needs to be addressed. My heart goes to the ones in pain. And you have some brave survivors to find, UN peacemakers!
PS: lots of silly rumors are going around. Be careful with your donations!!
PS2: I'm avoiding flooding ONTD_P with Haiti news but I really thought this was important.