Monday, April 10, 2006


9 April, 2006 (Les Cayes, Haiti): A man who gained notoriety as the "Zombie Man of Les Cayes" can now call the mayor's mansion home. Voters in a recent runoff election chose the alleged "zombie" to be the next mayor of Les Cayes. "Zombie Man" and mayor-elect Clairvius Piaf has repeatedly made the claim that he was zombified at the age of 19 and forced to work on a sugar plantation for three years.
Zombification has reportedly been practiced in Haiti for centuries. According to folklore and research conducted by anthropologists a mixture of toad skin and puffer fish poison is used to simulate death. After "dying" the victim is revived and then given a hallucinogene to create a mindless state.
Piaf was declared dead on May 1, 1985 and then reportedly resurrected within a month. Afterwards, he was forced into working on a sugar plantation without pay. After he had worked on the plantation in a supposed zombie-like state for three years his captors abandoned the plantation and its zombie day-laborers for unknown reasons. Upon achieving his freedom Piaf is said to have wondered thru southern Haiti for close to a year before snapping out of his zombie trance.
Piaf became a local legend as he traveled throughout Haiti telling of his ordeal. His autobiography, La Vie De Zombie, remains a best-seller in Haiti today. Over the past decade Piaf turned his popularity into political support and now looks to be a major player in Haitian politics.
Piaf does have a few detractors, however. Some of the mayor's political rivals have challenged Mr. Piaf's zombie claims. Then there are other rivals who are less skeptical of Piaf's zombie past who claim that Piaf is in fact still a zombie and under the control of corrupt party officials.

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