Grave cleaners from Guatemala

If the grave’s lease has expired or the rent has not been paid, the cleanersthe gravesthey will open a crypt, remove bodies from there and rebuild them. Any remains, for which the relatives did not come, are put in plastic bags, marked and buried at the place of mass burial. The bodies buried in the above-ground graves are subject to drying faster, which means that they do not decompose and instead are mummified. These are the simple rules in the cemeteries of Guatemala.
Grave cleaners from Guatemala Reuters, Lopez, Jorge, Photo, graves, cemeteries, Guatemala, rent, cemetery, exhumations, graves, burial places, mass, more, which, next, have to, relatives, poor, country

Grave cleaners from Guatemala Reuters, Lopez, Jorge, Photo, graves, cemeteries, Guatemala, rent, cemetery, exhumations, graves, burial places, mass, more, which, next, have to, relatives, poor, country

1. The two largest cemeteries of the capital of Guatemala are so full that relatives have to rent graves for the departed. If they delay payment of rent, employees of the cemetery "evict" the body and send it to the mass graves. (Photo by Jorge Dan Lopez / Reuters)
Grave cleaners from Guatemala Reuters, Lopez, Jorge, Photo, graves, cemeteries, Guatemala, rent, cemetery, exhumations, graves, burial places, mass, more, which, next, have to, relatives, poor, country

2. The grave cleaner sits on a coffin near the mummified body at the exhumation site in the main cemetery of Guatemala City. (Photo by Jorge Dan Lopez / Reuters)
Grave cleaners from Guatemala Reuters, Lopez, Jorge, Photo, graves, cemeteries, Guatemala, rent, cemetery, exhumations, graves, burial places, mass, more, which, next, have to, relatives, poor, country

3. The gravedigger wraps the mummified body in a bag during exhumation. (Photo by Jorge Dan Lopez / Reuters)
Grave cleaners from Guatemala Reuters, Lopez, Jorge, Photo, graves, cemeteries, Guatemala, rent, cemetery, exhumations, graves, burial places, mass, more, which, next, have to, relatives, poor, country

4. Such a lease is not a new phenomenon.but now more and more bodies are being sent to a mass grave near the main cemetery, next to the city dump, above which hangs a constant stench and vultures are circling. (Photo by Jorge Dan Lopez / Reuters)
Grave cleaners from Guatemala Reuters, Lopez, Jorge, Photo, graves, cemeteries, Guatemala, rent, cemetery, exhumations, graves, burial places, mass, more, which, next, have to, relatives, poor, country

5. A woman places flowers on the grave, as if ignoring the mummified body standing nearby. (Photo by Jorge Dan Lopez / Reuters)
Grave cleaners from Guatemala Reuters, Lopez, Jorge, Photo, graves, cemeteries, Guatemala, rent, cemetery, exhumations, graves, burial places, mass, more, which, next, have to, relatives, poor, country

6. Judging by the gravedigger’s face, his work is fun. (Photo by Jorge Dan Lopez / Reuters)
Grave cleaners from Guatemala Reuters, Lopez, Jorge, Photo, graves, cemeteries, Guatemala, rent, cemetery, exhumations, graves, burial places, mass, more, which, next, have to, relatives, poor, country

7. The practice of renting graves and "evictions" says a lot about the problems faced by a country that is experiencing difficult times. Violence, the deep gulf between rich and poor, and unemployment are just some of these problems. (Photo by Jorge Dan Lopez / Reuters)
Grave cleaners from Guatemala Reuters, Lopez, Jorge, Photo, graves, cemeteries, Guatemala, rent, cemetery, exhumations, graves, burial places, mass, more, which, next, have to, relatives, poor, country

8. Rich people in this predominantly Catholic country prefer private land. However, those who have to use public cemeteries pay about $ 25 for the first six years of renting a grave. Four more years cost 23 dollars. After that, you have to pay every four years. In a country where many cannot afford even food, this is a significant amount. (Photo by Jorge Dan Lopez / Reuters)
Grave cleaners from Guatemala Reuters, Lopez, Jorge, Photo, graves, cemeteries, Guatemala, rent, cemetery, exhumations, graves, burial places, mass, more, which, next, have to, relatives, poor, country

9. Exhumation of the female body in the cemetery of Guatemala. (Photo by Jorge Dan Lopez / Reuters)
Grave cleaners from Guatemala Reuters, Lopez, Jorge, Photo, graves, cemeteries, Guatemala, rent, cemetery, exhumations, graves, burial places, mass, more, which, next, have to, relatives, poor, country

10. “Of course, most of the dead in the mass graves were poor people,” says cemetery worker Carmen Lopez, sitting in the shadow of a tombstone.- The rich can buy personal mausoleums. We are poor people, we are here. ” In the photo: a grave cleaner places a woman’s body in a coffin. (Photo by Jorge Dan Lopez / Reuters)
Grave cleaners from Guatemala Reuters, Lopez, Jorge, Photo, graves, cemeteries, Guatemala, rent, cemetery, exhumations, graves, burial places, mass, more, which, next, have to, relatives, poor, country

11. According to the cemetery administrator, the government recently sent out about 3,600 telegrams warning relatives about forthcoming exhumations, including about 1,500 children's graves. In the photo: the exhumation of the next body in the cemetery of Guatemala. (Photo by Jorge Dan Lopez / Reuters)
Grave cleaners from Guatemala Reuters, Lopez, Jorge, Photo, graves, cemeteries, Guatemala, rent, cemetery, exhumations, graves, burial places, mass, more, which, next, have to, relatives, poor, country

12. Exhumations usually occur twice a year. In the photo: transportation of coffins and corpses in plastic bags on a loader. (Photo by Jorge Dan Lopez / Reuters)
Grave cleaners from Guatemala Reuters, Lopez, Jorge, Photo, graves, cemeteries, Guatemala, rent, cemetery, exhumations, graves, burial places, mass, more, which, next, have to, relatives, poor, country

13. The practice of exhumations is also not new, but now, when more and more people are buried in public cemeteries, the number of unpaid bills is growing, and this leads to an increase in the number of exhumations. In the photo: the grave-digger demonstrates a human skull during an exhumation at the cemetery of Guatemala. (Photo by Jorge Dan Lopez / Reuters)
Grave cleaners from Guatemala Reuters, Lopez, Jorge, Photo, graves, cemeteries, Guatemala, rent, cemetery, exhumations, graves, burial places, mass, more, which, next, have to, relatives, poor, country

14. The process has been debugged so as to ensure the best possible treatment of the bodies. In the photo: the gravedigger removes the body from the loader.

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