Pastor Polanco died on February 13th in La Pedrera, Puerto Cabello city. He had 73-years old and only a few relatives, and like a lot of people in Venezuela, they had no money to pay a worthy coffin.
Relatives and neighbors went to the mayor’s office looking for help to give Pastor a decent burial, but they told them that there is no money for a coffin, even when two neighbors -Carlos Martínez and Wilmer Chirino- explained that the town hall has a special fund for these cases.
Then, after four days of his death, a neighborhood carpenter uses the closet where Pastor kept his clothes and built a coffin to bury him.
Martinez and Chirino criticized the mayor’s response, especially since the office is getting ready for the Carnival, spending a big b but has no money to bury old neighbors.
“The economic crisis that is affecting Venezuelans has taken us to this level, we cannot even bury our deads in peace. This case is pathetic, we had to wait four days to be able to bury a Christian man,” a neighbor told El Pitazo.
As the Venezuelan humanitarian crisis worsening, people get buried in their backyards, in defiance of the law, and at least one mortuary got in trouble for reselling coffins after digging up the remains and disposing of them in an unceremonious, unsanitary way. Another mortuary in Caracas has been using cardboard coffins.