Hat-tip to FuneralWise.com for this cheerful story:
In Guatemala City, morticians called skullmongers speed to murder scenes looking to snag customers. When rival firms meet on the street, price wars ensue. Some skullmongers offer combos: a coffin, a wake and a funeral for as little as $150. Some mongers even receive tips about murders from the police.
A Guatemala City man who goes by the nickname Don Carlos has transformed his mechanic shop into a funeral home, although the initial décor remains. Saw blades and drill bits hang on concrete walls and “in the back, among the old gaskets and engine blocks, the corpses are disemboweled, cleaned, embalmed and dressed for burial.”
In Mexico, with drug violence spiraling out of control, there is even more money to be made beautifying corpses, but more danger involved too. Funeral home operators from southern and central Mexico head for crime-ridden border towns like Ciudad Juarez and Tijuana, looking to expand their businesses. Some border city funeral homes send agents into the streets to hand out promotional fliers.
“Gun battles and gangland mutilations are also boosting demand for facial reconstructions,” reads a 2008 Reuters article. “And because of the rise in decapitations in the city, undertakers offer to hold the body and wait for the head to be found before proceeding with the funeral.”
Read the full post here.