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article imageBack-door cash for corpses at Madrid University

By Anne Sewell     Jun 17, 2014 in Odd News
Madrid - In May, a scandal was uncovered involving hundreds of cadavers, piled up in a basement at the Complutense University in Madrid, Spain. The scene, resembling a "chamber of horrors" or an episode of "The Walking Dead," is an ongoing scandal it seems.
Speaking at the time of the horrific photos taken in the basement, Spanish daily El Mundo who uncovered the scandal, said:
"This is not Auschwitz in 1942. Nor is it Srebrenica, the horror of the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s. Nor is it Rwanda with the Hutu against the Tutsi. This is Madrid in 2014."
They pointed out, however, that the scene was equally bad with cadavers scattered around the basement, all mixed together, some with blackened feet pointing skywards, at room temperature and in a macabre atmosphere.
As investigations continue into the scandal, more information is now coming to light. It seems that technical staff at the university have now admitted to receiving "off-the-record" cash payments running up to 150 euros ($203) for allowing the use of the cadavers as a sort of unofficial "lending library," so to speak.
What they have been doing is preparing the hundreds of blackening corpses, still stored in said basement, to be used as teaching aids for unofficial, unreported and after hours anatomy lessons.
Those 250 odd dead bodies, who used to be human beings like all of us, and who were donated to science, are still being abused. Apparently on up to 23 occasions, these corpses were used clandestinely for the study of ophthalmology (eye anatomy) and dentistry.
And it seems that no one bothered to officially declare the money charged for these clandestine services, and now union sources are trying to say the staff were “scared to death”.
According to one source, “Sometimes they had to work overtime and were present during the classes, at less than €10 per hour, and sometimes they were asked to leave the bodies ready on a Friday before they left and then collect them on Monday when they arrived.”
Apparently the head of the anatomy department, José Ramón Mérida, refused to comment to the media. However, Professor José Francisco Rodríguez Vázquez, who has been with the university for some 33 years, did offer that his colleague was experiencing “the worst time of his life” as a result of the scandal.
He added that he, personally, never delivers unsanctioned extracurricular classes and that he knew nothing of what was going on downstairs, saying, “This department has five floors and I work on the second, not in the basement.”
When the media approached the University's Rector, one José Carillo, he advised them that the payment issue falls “under the umbrella of classified information” but he did apparently say that, “if someone has charged cash-in-hand then that is completely irregular.”
Spanish sources:
El Pais
El Mundo
The Local
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