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Latin America: Home of the Living Dead?

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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BETTER OFF DEAD At the morgue Last week Feliberto Carrasco, an 81-year-old Chilean man presumed dead by his family and friends, awoke in the midst of his own wake. As mourners paid their final respects, Carrasco opened his eyes, emerged from his own coffin, and calmly asked for a glass of water. Not all that strange considering that this kind of thing is always happening in Latin America

Just last September a Venezuelan man—declared dead after a car accident—revived on the autopsy table. By then, though, the man had begun to bleed (not something dead people are known to do) owing to an facial incision made by the coroner. Ever the pro, the on-duty coroner quickly stitched up the wound and the man's family was notified. No word on postmortem rebates or refunds.

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But this is only a part of Latin America's long history of the living dead.

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