Mayor proposes a ban on death

There's no more room to bury the dead, they can't be cremated and laws forbid a new cemetery. So the mayor has proposed an intriguing solution: outlaw death.

Mayor Roberto Pereira da Silva's proposal to the town council warns that "infractors will be held responsible for their acts" and asks residents to "take good care of your health in order not to die."

The bill, which states no penalty for passing away, is meant to protest federal decrees that have barred a new or expanded cemetery in Biritiba Mirim, a town of 28,000 people 70 kilometers (45 miles) east of Sao Paulo.

"Of course the bill is laughable, unconstitutional, and will never be approved," said Gilson Soares de Campos, an aide to the mayor. "But can you think of a better marketing strategy ... to persuade the government to modify the environmental legislation that is barring us from building a new cemetery?"

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