It’s come to this: Venezuelans trying to manage a shortage of… coffins

posted at 8:41 pm on June 16, 2014 by Erika Johnsen

Cross a mass shortage of basic goods and materials (induced by heavy central planning) with the world’s second-highest murder rate (induced by poverty and the weaksauce rule of law), and what do you get?

Horror. Via Reuters:

Venezuelan funeral homes are struggling to find coffins, with production crimped by a shortage of brass, varnish and satin, complicating the process of burying the dead in one of the world’s most murderous countries.

Undertakers are borrowing coffins from each other or traveling to Colombia to get hold of them. …

Coffin production has dropped some 50 percent in recent months, said Ricardo Guedez, member and until recently president of the National Chamber for Funeral Companies.

That’s partly because manufacturers have been unable to import materials, struggling to obtain dollars because of the government’s strict currency controls.

There is also a shortage of brass because of slumping output at state steel mill Sidor, which late President Hugo Chavez nationalized in 2008.

Demand for funerals is driven by one of the world’s highest murder rates, which has long been Venezuelans’ main gripe with the socialist government. Castro said 70 percent of the corpses her company receives are murder victims.

Coffins are only the latest item to join the long and growing list of scarce things Venezuelans are currently going without, from flour to bottled water to electricity; as one head of a funeral home in Reuters‘ story put it, “Like anything in this country, we can’t get hold of them.” President Nicolas Maduro persists in blaming greedy business owners, underhanded political foes, and foreign conspirators for the country’s overwhelming economic problems, but when you actually have a government agency called the “Superior Organ of the Economy” whose job it is to tell businesses to cut prices, because the government says so, how can he honestly expect different results?


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Go organic!

corona79 on June 16, 2014 at 8:43 PM

Coffins? They actually use coffins? I figured they just wrapped them in cloth, or the broad leaves of some tropical plant, and gave ‘em a toss.

predator on June 16, 2014 at 8:45 PM

Since socialists seem to be so big on going green, may I kindly suggest reusing? They can start with ol’ Hugo’s since he can’t tell the difference anymore.

Wisdom_of_Homer on June 16, 2014 at 8:46 PM

On the coast they could catapult them into the ocean. Sounds kinda fun. With a good catapult you can do more than one at a time. I wonder how they are doing on catapults there.

Dan_Yul on June 16, 2014 at 8:47 PM

Venezuela was nearly a paradise before Chavez. Now, it’s a dump.

Wino on June 16, 2014 at 8:49 PM

predator on June 16, 2014 at 8:45 PM

We know they have a shortage of TP as well. No triple crown. : (

Bmore on June 16, 2014 at 8:56 PM

Wino on June 16, 2014 at 8:49 PM

No, No, No! It’s a socialist paradise! Sean Penn said so!

predator on June 16, 2014 at 8:57 PM

Go for the urn! And I don’t mean urn-esty.

anotherJoe on June 16, 2014 at 8:58 PM

We know they have a shortage of TP as well. No triple crown. : (

Bmore on June 16, 2014 at 8:56 PM

Yeah, I was kinda bummed, but then the owner turned out to be a bigger loser than the horse, and I thought, “It’s better won by a team with more class.”

predator on June 16, 2014 at 8:58 PM

Thank you Erika for this wonderful story. I’m sure not going to vacation in Venezuela this year. God forbid I die there, I might not be able get a coffin to send my body back to the US.

I glad you are keeping us in the know.

coolrepublica on June 16, 2014 at 8:59 PM

Have they thought about taxidermy?

Flange on June 16, 2014 at 9:02 PM

predator on June 16, 2014 at 8:58 PM

; )

Bmore on June 16, 2014 at 9:02 PM

Cremation.

Bmore on June 16, 2014 at 9:02 PM

Have they thought about taxidermy?

Flange on June 16, 2014 at 9:02 PM

Soylent Green?

predator on June 16, 2014 at 9:08 PM

Cremation.

Bmore on June 16, 2014 at 9:02 PM

This.

Really having a hard time giving one squirt about Venezuela…outside any of the sorry pri(ks showing up on our southern borders that is…

BigWyo on June 16, 2014 at 9:08 PM

With communists in charge soon they will have an AIR shortage.

ConstantineXI on June 16, 2014 at 9:12 PM

Cremation.

Bmore on June 16, 2014 at 9:02 PM

Mass graves is more the commie style. They’ve done them in every communist regime in history.

ConstantineXI on June 16, 2014 at 9:13 PM

Venezuelan funeral homes are struggling to find coffins, with production crimped by a shortage of brass, varnish and satin,

Huh? What are these, GMO sooper-coffins? What’s wrong with a plain pine box? Ooooh! There’s no satin! Coffin production must be stopped!!

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 16, 2014 at 9:14 PM

If you fill the ones you have with the right sort of people you may not need so many in the future.

Just saying…

wolly4321 on June 16, 2014 at 9:15 PM

Send them up here and make them Congressmen, they can’t be any slower or dumber than the reps we have now.

Bishop on June 16, 2014 at 9:16 PM

Fascists always run out of coffins

faraway on June 16, 2014 at 9:17 PM

Could use them to feed the cayman population–jes’ sayin’.

predator on June 16, 2014 at 9:18 PM

I glad you are keeping us in the know.

coolrepublica on June 16, 2014 at 8:59 PM

I don’t know..I love seeing leftist Fu*kTard dogma work out in real time.

BigWyo on June 16, 2014 at 9:22 PM

I glad you are keeping us in the know.

coolrepublica on June 16, 2014 at 8:59 PM

What’s so great about cr’s lame attempt at sarcasm is the underlying gut-level discomfort she experiences as she watches a progressive government in full flower, unrestricted by silly things like free markets, natural rights and traditional values.

Of course, when lefties like cr say “I glad you are keeping us in the know.” (besides sounding like a pre-schooler) she is really saying please don’t make me face this reality.

Dolce Far Niente on June 16, 2014 at 9:24 PM

Just saying…

wolly4321 on June 16, 2014 at 9:15 PM

A point the citizens of Venezuela might be wise to consider. I don’t think they are quite there yet.

Bmore on June 16, 2014 at 9:24 PM

Or better yet: It’s come to this: Progressive smaktard gets really tired of being reminded about how Leftist policies suck out loud.

I glad you are keeping us in the know.

coolrepublica on June 16, 2014 at 8:59 PM

BigWyo on June 16, 2014 at 9:25 PM

(besides sounding like a pre-schooler)
Dolce Far Niente on June 16, 2014 at 9:24 PM

You are far too generous. ; )

Bmore on June 16, 2014 at 9:25 PM

wolly4321 on June 16, 2014 at 9:15 PM

Ain’t that the truth.

Flange on June 16, 2014 at 9:29 PM

Ah yes . Venezuela. The Socialist Paradise. It seems it was just a short couple of years ago that the Left in this country was espousing the wonderful flower of socialism that is Venezuela. Wait it was just a couple of years ago.

HotAirian on June 16, 2014 at 9:50 PM

ObamaCare comes immediately to mind.

Also the VA scandal.

To Obama & the Left people are political pawns. Our lives have no intrinsic value.

INC on June 16, 2014 at 11:03 PM

If you fill the ones you have with the right sort of people you may not need so many in the future.

Just saying…

wolly4321 on June 16, 2014 at 9:15 PM

^^ This. Well played.

iurockhead on June 16, 2014 at 11:21 PM

They should get Pinketty to go there and run the economy. After all, the only reason socialism hasn’t worked yet is because they didn’t do it right the last time.

With the new smarter crop of socialists, they will totally get it right this time.

Monkeytoe on June 17, 2014 at 8:15 AM

I’ve seen our future with Prez Moochelle, and it’s…

vnvet on June 17, 2014 at 9:52 AM

Has anyone noticed that whenever there is a shortage, or absence, of anything in Venezuela…be it milk, butter, food, toilet paper, and now coffins…where do they go to get them?

Colombia.

In all of this what is missed is that the Colombian market economy seems able to provide itself and the socialist Venezuelan economy with what is demanded.

Interesting eh?

Blaise on June 17, 2014 at 10:50 AM

I’m sure the Venezuelans can be buried int he cardboard boxes the government will shortly be providing as living spaces.

Hucklebuck on June 17, 2014 at 12:06 PM

Cross a mass shortage of basic goods and materials (induced by heavy central planning) with the world’s second-highest murder rate (induced by poverty and the weaksauce rule of law), and what do you get?

Horror.

The Pope’s Marxist paradise on Earth is unexpectedly failing.

RJL on June 17, 2014 at 2:12 PM

Really having a hard time giving one squirt about Venezuela…outside any of the sorry pri(ks showing up on our southern borders that is…

BigWyo on June 16, 2014 at 9:08 PM

Venezuela is instructive to watch (as are Argentina and Greece) because those places are excellent indicators of what we can expect to see here in the US, once the collapse accelerates.

Doomberg on June 17, 2014 at 2:30 PM

This is what happens when a currency collapses.

If you have dollars, you can have a coffin made.

Kristopher on June 18, 2014 at 12:17 AM