From the BBC:
Witch-doctors reveal extent of child sacrifice in UgandaAt this point, I started wondering if our legs are being pulled by the BBC. Does Uganda really have an official Anti-Human Sacrifice Taskforce?By Tim Whewell BBC News, UgandaOne witch-doctor led us to his secret shrine and said he had clients who regularly captured children and brought their blood and body parts to be consumed by spirits.
A BBC investigation into human sacrifice in Uganda has heard first-hand accounts which suggest ritual killings of children may be more common than authorities have acknowledged.
Meanwhile, a former witch-doctor who now campaigns to end child sacrifice confessed for the first time to having murdered about 70 people, including his own son.
The Ugandan government told us that human sacrifice is on the increase, and according to the head of the country's Anti-Human Sacrifice Taskforce the crime is directly linked to rising levels of development and prosperity, and an increasing belief that witchcraft can help people get rich quickly.
Or is this like that scene in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas where Hunter S. Thompson (a.k.a., Raoul Duke) and his 300 pound Samoan attorney, Dr. Gonzo, infiltrate the cop convention and horrify a nice Southern district attorney with tales of how us Malibu cops have to "go to the mat" with the bloodthirsty human sacrifice gangs kidnapping teenage girls out of McDonald's drive-thru windows on Pacific Coast Highway? From Terry Gilliam's screenplay:
INT. CASINO BAR - DAYApparently, however, yes, Uganda, unlike the real Malibu, does have an official taskforce to fight human sacrifice.
DUKE sees GONZO at the bar — talking to a SPORTY LOOKING COP about 40 whose name tag identifies him as a DISTRICT ATTORNEY FROM GEORGIA.
DUKE They're everywhere. Nobody's safe. And sure as hell not in the South. They like warm weather... You'd never believe it. In L.A. it's out of control. First it was drugs, now it's witchcraft.
DA Witchcraft? Shit, you can't mean it!
The BARTENDER cleans his glasses, one ear straining for the conversation.
GONZO Read the newspapers.
DUKE Man, you don't know trouble until you have to face down a bunch of these addicts gone crazy for human sacrifice!
DA Naw! That's science fiction stuff!
DUKE Not where we operate.
GONZO Hell, in Malibu alone, these goddamn Satan worshippers kill six or eight people every day. All they want is the blood. They'll take people right off the street if they have to.
DUKE Just the other day we had a case where they grabbed a girl right out of a McDonald's hamburger stand. She was a waitress, about sixteen years old... with a lot of people watching, too!
The BARTENDER keeps cleaning the same glass — more and more furiously.
DA What happened? What did they do to her?
GONZO Do? Jesus Christ, man. They chopped her goddamn head off right there in the parking lot! Then they cut all kinds of holes in her head and sucked out the blood!
DA And nobody did anything?
DUKE What could they do? The guy that took the head was about six-seven, and maybe three-hundred pounds. He was packing two Lugers, and the others had M-16s.
GONZO They just ran back out into Death Valley — you know, where Manson turned up...
DUKE Like big lizards. ...
DUKE They were all veterans.
Agog with the horrors of the story, the BARTENDER polishes the glass — faster and faster...
GONZO Yeh. The big guy used to be a major in the Marines.
DA A major!
GONZO We know where he lives, but we can't get near the house.
DA Naw! Not a major.
GONZO He wanted the pineal gland.
GONZO That's how he got so big. When he quit the Marines he was just a little guy.
DUKE Usually, it's whole families. During the night. Most of them don't even wake up until they feel their heads going — and then, of course, it's too late.
The glass smashes in the BARTENDER's hand.
DUKE (CONT'D) Happens every day. ...
DUKE turns to a WAITRESS with a warm smile. Three more rums. Plenty of ice. Maybe a handful of lime chunks.
WAITRESS Are you guys with the police convention upstairs?
DA We sure are, Miss.
WAITRESS I thought so. I never heard that kind of talk around here before. Jesus Christ! How do you guys stand that kind of work?
GONZO (grinning) We like it. It's groovy.
The WAITRESS stares — sickened — at GONZO.
DUKE What's wrong with you? Hell, somebody has to do it.
DA (whacks his fist on the bar) Hell, I really hate to hear this. Because everything that happens in California seems to get down our way, sooner or later. Mostly Atlanta. But that was back when the goddamn bastards were peaceful. All we had to do was to keep 'em under surveillance. They didn't roam around much... But now Jesus, it seems nobody's safe.
GONZO (with a conspiratorial nod) You're going to need to take the bull by the horns — go to the mat with this scum.
DA What do you mean by that?
GONZO You know what I mean. We've done it before and we can damn well do it again!
DUKE Cut their goddamn heads off. Every one of them. That's what we're doing in California.
DA (stupefied) WHAT?
GONZO Sure. It's all on the Q.T., but everybody who matters is with us all the way down the line.
DUKE We keep it quiet. It's not the kind of thing you'd want to talk about upstairs. Not with the press around. ...
DA God almighty! (muttering in a daze) I don't think I should tell my wife about this. She'd never understand. You know how women are.
DUKE gives the DA a brotherly slap on the back.
DUKE Just be thankful your heart is young and strong.
DUKE and GONZO leave the stunned DA — staring into the swirling ice in drink.
From The Guardian, 9/6/09:
Uganda has been shocked by a surge in ritualistic murders and human sacrifice, with police struggling to respond and public hysteria mounting at each gruesome discovery.
In 2008 more than 300 cases of murder and disappearances linked to ritual ceremonies were reported to the police with 18 cases making it to the courts. There were also several high-profile arrests of parents and relatives accused of selling children for human sacrifice.
In January this year the Ugandan government appointed a special police taskforce on human sacrifice and announced that 2,000 officers were to receive specialist training in tackling child trafficking with the support of the US government. Since the taskforce was set up there have been 15 more murders linked to human sacrifice with another 200 disappearances, mainly of children and young adults, under investigation.
"This year we have had more occurrences of people attempting to sell their children to witch-doctors as part of ritual ceremonies to guarantee wealth and prosperity," said Moses Binoga, acting commissioner of the anti-human sacrifice and trafficking taskforce.
Both police and NGOs are attributing the surge to a new wave of commercial witch-doctors using mass media to market their services and demand large sums of money to sacrifice humans and animals for people who believe blood will bring great prosperity.