Things That Matter

21 Shots of Latin America That Left Us in Awe

You don’t need us to tell you, Latin America’s dripping in spellbinding scenery and boasts a rich culture and history. In light of this, we’ve collated 21 stunning images that portray South America in all its glory. From rolling valleys to urban skylines, we’ve covered it all. Let’s dive in!

1. Rio at Sunset

Credit: Rio. Digital Image. Pixabay, ujasnpandya. Jan. 27, 2015

This snap doesn’t need a description. The natural beauty here does all the talking. From the impeccable sunset over the mountains to the dreamy harbor- this shot captures some of the best features of Rio de Janeiro.

2. Cows in Rural Paraguay

Credit: Nature. Digital Image. Pxhere. Dec. 31, 2016

The mountainous landforms in Paraguay not only look sublime, but they’re the perfect place for herds of cattle to roam. Ethical farming amidst stunning scenery- what could be better?

3. Morning Brakes in Guatemala

Credit: Dawn. Digital Image. Pixabay marcoreyes. May. 25, 2015

Waking up at dawn and walking through the streets of Guatemala is one of the most peaceful experiences you’re ever likely to have. If you haven’t done it yet, put it on your bucket list.  For what this country lacks in size it more than makes up for in culture. Paraguay’s intriguing history coupled with its natural beauty creates a land full of breathtaking sites and photo ops.

4. Christ the Redeemer

Credit: Rio. Digital Image. Pixabay, fabiowanderley. July 26, 2016

We couldn’t compile a list of stunning Latin American images without including this magnificent structure! The colossal statue of Christ has proudly stood for 87 years at the summit of Mount Corcovado. This landmark’s one of Rio’s most internationally recognized hotspots. No one can visit this stature without being in utter awe of it

5. A Chilean Night’s Sky

Credit: Space. Digital Image. Pixabay, CristinaLaFee. Aug. 18, 2017

Have you ever seen a starry night’s sky as mesmerizing as this? On a clear evening, you can see dozens of twinkling stars. There’s so many dotted around you’ll struggle to count them all! Could you imagine anything more idyllic than setting up a hammock and sleeping here, under a sky as gorgeous as this?

6. Cycling in Paraguay

Credit:  Tree. Digital Image. Pxhere. 3 July. 2017

This snap captures an inkling of Latin American culture and tradition. This man’s working hard, transporting grass through the streets of Paraguay on the back of his bike.

7. Lima: A Dreamy Peruvian Coastline

Credit: Lima. Digital Image. Pixabay, ygrrr. Oct. 25, 2014

This image encompasses a gorgeous blend of cosmopolitanism and scenic coastal views. Lima truly has something for everyone to enjoy! Take a stroll down Miraflores boardwalk and explore all the nearby streets and parks. Lose yourself amidst the beautiful lanes lining the shore. It’s the perfect way to spend a laid-back afternoon.

8. Traditional Puerto Rican Architecture

Credit: Puerto Rico. Digital Image. Pixabay, sjdents. Nov. 10, 2014

Latin American culture’s full of color, creativity, and vibrancy- so it’s not surprising Puerto Rico’s architecture reflects these traits. The choice of bold paint is a treat for the eyes. The best word to describe the overall aesthetic is: ‘divine.’

9. A Long Peruvian Road

Credit: Peru. Digital Image. Pixabay, al3xitox100pre. Dec. 8, 2016

What could be better than jumping in a car and heading out on a road trip through the mysterious mountains of Peru? This image makes you want to pack up your bags and go on the adventure of a lifetime.

10. Glaciers in Argentina

Credit: Glacier. Digital Image. Pixabay, derwiki. Dec. 30, 2014

To the southwest of Argentina, there are more than 300 glaciers. Some are as large as 217-miles long in the Parque Nacional Los Glaciares.

11. Ipanema Beach

Credit: Ipanema Beach. Digital Image. Pixabay, eacuna. Dec. 21, 2012

Situated towards the South of Rio de Janeiro, this beach is famous for its breathtaking sunsets and natural beauty. People flock from all around the globe to visit this place- judging from the picture; we’re sure you can see why!

12. Colors of Peru

Credit: Substances. Digital Image. Pixabay, LoggaWiggler. Aug. 17, 2011

Peruvian fabrics are famous for their bold use of color- it’s hard not to smile when you see a market stall brimming with hues as bright as these. After all, they say variety’s the spice of life- so, why shouldn’t this apply to color-filled fashion.

13. Machu Picchu In All Its Glory

Credit: Machu Picchu. Digital Image. Pixabay, skeeze. Aug. 5, 2016

Behold, Machu Picchu. As you probably already know, this is the Incan citadel that sits proudly amidst the Andes Mountains. The structures were expertly crafted back in the 15th century and later abandoned. The best thing about this mysterious place is that no one’s 100% sure what the remains were used for by the Incas- eerie!

14. Colombian Street Art

Credit: Face. Digital Image. Pixabay, lanur. Aug. 23, 2014

The street art in Colombia is astounding. Take a walk through Bogotá, and marvel at the world-renown graffiti that’s captured the hearts and imaginations of art-lovers from around the world. The quality and the diversity of the work plastered across the walls is second to none.

15. Tango Like No One’s Watching

Credit: Tango. Digital Image. Pixabay, pinthemapproject. Sept. 14, 2015

Check out this stunning couple as they enjoy dancing the Tango in the streets of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Can you think of anything more romantic?

16. Penguin Colony in Argentina

Credit: South America. Digital Image. Pixabay, magicaltravelling. Feb. 24, 2016

Everyone loves penguins, and Argentina is home to four beautiful species. The colony pictured above is nothing short of majestic.

17. Rainbow Mountain

Credit: Peru. Digital Image. Pixabay, jerzykwpodrozy. March 29, 2017

This beautiful Peruvian mountain looks as though it’s painted in stunning golds, emeralds, reds, and violets. Once upon a time, this mountain was covered in ice. As it began to melt, the water combined with the minerals in the rocks and created the colors you see here- how neat is that?

18. Chilean Shanty Town

Credit: Landscape. Digital Image. Pxhere. 03/04 2017

This photo’s living proof that money isn’t everything. These Chilean slums exude color right across the Valparaíso coastline. As you can imagine, the skyline’s mesmerizing!

19. Ecuadorian Llamas

Credit: Landscape. Digital Image. Pxhere. 4th April 2017

These Ecuadorian llamas are gorgeous. It looks like the one in the brown fur’s gazing out across the lake- and who can blame him? The mountainous landscape set behind the blue body of water looks idyllic.

20. Peruvian Dress

Credit: Architecture. Digital Image. Pxhere. 3rd July 2017

These Quechuan ladies are proudly sporting traditional Peruvian dress. Living high within the Andes, this community farms wool to produce beautiful handicrafts.

21. Traveling in Paraguay

Credit: Tree. Digital Image. Pxhere. 3rd Dec. 2017

This snapshot provides another quick insight into the traditional culture of Paraguay. This man’s elegantly riding a cart pulled by cattle. A mode of transport that’s better known as an oxcart. Initially, oxcarts were used in Costa Rica during the mid-nineteenth century to transport coffee beans. Although they’re rarer in today’s society, they remain a beautiful symbol of Latin American history.

The Violence Against Women In Brazil Is Escalating And A New Study Shows That Girls Under 13 Are Being Targeted

Things That Matter

The Violence Against Women In Brazil Is Escalating And A New Study Shows That Girls Under 13 Are Being Targeted

jairmessiasbolsonaro / fepaesleme / Instagram

A troubling study is highlighting the horrible state of women’s safety in Brazil. This time, a non-governmental organization found that girls under the age of 13 are facing a horrific trend of rapes within the South American country. Here is what the study by the Brazilian Forum of Public Security found.

A new study shows that four girls under 13 are raped every hour in Brazil.

Credit: Saulo Cruz / Flickr

The study also found that police receive a call every two minutes to report a violent attack against a woman. The study shows a very troubling side of one of the most dangerous countries in the world for women.

“Brazil is still one of the most dangerous places in the world for women,” Valeria Scarance, a public prosecutor, told Brazilian newspaper Globo’s Jornal Nacional. “And the most dangerous place for a woman is her own home.”

To make matters worse, the Brazilian government has been stripping away crucial places of safety for women. According to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), in 2017, the Brazilian government closed 23 shelters for victims fo domestic violence citing budget cuts as the reason. The following year, Jair Bolsonaro was elected as president and it sparked fear and outrage throughout the country. At the start of 2018, the HRC also found that 1.2 million domestic violence cases were pending before courts throughout the country.

The violence against women in Brazil has been at the forefront of Brazilian protests for years, even before the Rio Olympic Games in 2016.

Credit: @StylistMagazine / Twitter

In the lead up to one of the largest sporting event in the world, Brazilians protested to warn potential tourists of the crimes being committed. The famous Copacabana Beach was filled with panties and images of women who have been sexually assaulted in Brazil.

Brazilians highlighted the death of a 17-year-old girl at the hands of a group of men to warn tourists of the dangers of being in the country.

The election of Jair Bolsonaro reignited the efforts of protesters across the country to bring attention to the violence women face every day in Brazil.

Bolsonaro, like President Trump, energized the far-right of Brazil. Minority groups, women, and the indigenous defenders tried to warn the nation against electing Bolsonaro are the president of Brazil to no avail. Since taking office, Bolsonaro has attacked women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, indigenous rights, environmental rights, and anything you can really think of.

In one display of troubling rhetoric, Bolsonaro told a congresswoman that she was not worthy of being raped. He made the statement on Brazil’s TV Globo and stated he wasn’t worth rape because she was too ugly, sparking outrage.

As the world deals with injustices at the hands of apathetic governments, Brazilians are trying to fight to save women.

Credit: @Prynces11 / Twitter

The violence against women is startling in Brazil. Only time will tell if Brazilians will be able to put enough pressure on the nation’s leaders to exact the change they want to see for women’s rights.

READ: Indigenous Women Of Brazil Are Refusing To Keep Quiet Over The Country’s President’s Policies

The 13 Most Terrifying Serial Killers That You’ve Never Heard Of In The US

Things That Matter

The 13 Most Terrifying Serial Killers That You’ve Never Heard Of In The US

EvaRisto SA / Getty

While the United States has more serial killers than any other nation, some of the most brutal murderers the world has ever seen came from the Southern Hemisphere. They’ve left hundreds of bodies of children, women and men in their wake, along the way earning grim nicknames like “monster,” “beast,” and “sadist” as the public grappled with their repulsive crimes.

Some of these killers targeted poor, indigenous women and children who lived on the margins of society, police making a horrifying situation even worse by failing to properly investigate the deaths of the victims. While citizens were outraged by the grisly crimes, many of the country’s judicial systems were not structured in a way to handle such gruesome acts, with maximum sentences that did not come close to letting the punishment fit the crime – like a child murderer who went free after just 14 years. 

Mexico: The Poquianchis

Credit: GrupoPeru.com

The “Poquianchis” was the alias given to a group of female serial killers who were guilty of killing hundreds of prostitutes between 1945 and 1964 in Guanajuato, Mexico. The four sisters: Delfina González Valenzuela, María de Jesús, María del Carmen, and María Luisa, owned several brothels in the region, and killed over 150 people – mostly sex workers, their children, and some of their clients.

They are known as the most prolific serial killers in Mexican history.

Mexico: La Mataviejitas

Credit: Grupo de Peritos Profesionales / YouTube

Juana Barraza was a Mexican pro wrestler. What she did after she hung up her mask is terrifying. You’ve heard plenty of La Llorona and El Cucuy stories over the years, but the story of La Mataviejitas is just as scary – and it’s real.

Barazza’s victims were all women who were 60 years old or older. She would gain their trust by helping them with groceries or posing as a nurse. 

Why’d she do it? Barraza says it was her way of releasing pent up anger. She says she was full of anger after her alcoholic mother beat her and would give her away to men when she was only 12.

Colombia: The Beast

Credit: DiarioVasco.com

Luis Garavito definitely earned his nickname “the Beast,” although few beasts would be capable of his atrocities. Garavito admitted to the murder and rape of 140 young boys, but his toll may be closer to 300 victims.

Over a brutal five-year period, from 1994 to 1999, Garavito used food, gifts and cash to lure his young victims, most between the ages of eight and 16. He would occasionally dress as a monk or street vendor to make the children feel safe as he lured them away from their homes and parents. Once he had them in a secluded spot, he would sexually assault them, often torturing them before slitting their throats and dismembering their small bodies.

Colombia: The Sadist of El Charquito

Daniel Camargo Barbosa raped, murdered and dismembered over 150 young girls in Colombia and Ecuador. He earned the name of “The Sadist of El Charquito” for the brutal treatment of his victims, hacking them to pieces with a machete. While Camargo was suspected in the deaths of 80 women and girls, he was eventually arrested in Colombia for the rape and murder of a nine-year old girl. He was convicted and sentenced to 25 years in jail.

He managed to escape from the island prison where he was held, though, making his way through shark-infested water to Ecuador, where he continued his gruesome crimes, raping and killing at least 70 more victims.

Mexico: The Great Blood Sorceress

Magdalena Solís was: a serial killer, a religious fanatic, a leader of a sect, a sex criminal… and responsible for 8 confirmed murders. She killed any dissidents to her faith through sacrifices in which victims were brutally beaten and mutilated. Afterwards, she removed her victims’ hearts and drank their blood.

Some claim that Magdalena was the reincarnation of an Aztec goddess Coatlicue.

Mexico: The Monsters of Ecatepec 

In 2018, Juan Carlos admitted to killing more than 20 women in the Mexico City suburb of Ecatepec in a crime spree shocked the country. His wife, Patricia, has also told police her job was to trick his victims into accompanying her to their “House of Horrors” after luring them with cheap clothes to sell, say prosecutors. 

Once inside the house, Juan Carlos would slit their throats, have sex with the corpses, remove the heart and feed it to his dogs. 

Many of his victims were young mothers, and the couple have admitted to selling a two-month-old baby, after killing its mother. The husband and wife team were later arrested pushing the tot’s pram, but instead of finding the baby the found body parts.

Juan Carlos has also reportedly told a police doctor that he will kill again if he is ever freed.

Argentina: Angel of Death

In a stretch of just 11 months starting in March, 1971, Carlos Eduardo Robledo Puch committed a string of armed robberies, raped two women, assaulted several women and killed 11 people, becoming Argentina’s most prolific serial killer.

While he occasionally worked with an accomplice, at least one of whom died under suspicious circumstances, Robledo Puch never fit the profile of a killer. He was young, attractive, intelligent and from a wealthy family, but he turned his back on his privileged life.

Colombia: The Monster of the Andes

Known as “The Monster of the Andes,” Pedro López was convicted of raping and killing 110 women, but that horrifying body count is just the beginning of his gruesome crimes. López is suspected in the deaths of more than 300 women and girls, sometimes killing two or three a week, as he traveled across South America from Peru to Ecuador to his native Colombia. López showed his predilections earlier in life and was kicked out of his home for molesting his sister.

According to the Sword and Scale podcast, López was almost put to death by tribal leaders in Peru in 1978, but a missionary saved his life and he headed to Colombia where his crime spree continued. He was eventually captured in Ecuador when the bodies of four young girls were discovered.

He was sent to jail for the maximum allowed by Ecuadorian law at the time – just 16 years – but he was freed after 14 for good behavior. His whereabouts are currently unknown. 

Brazil: Gomes da Rocha

Credit: EvaRisto SA / Getty

Over the course of four years, Tiago Henrique Gomes da Rocha killed 39 people. Gomes da Rocha worked as a security guard in Goiania, a small city in central Brazil. In his off hours he rode the streets of the city on his motorbike robbing shops, pharmacies and lottery outlets. He would pretend to mug people, shouting “robbery” at them before simply shooting them dead instead. Gomes da Rocha targeted women and sex workers –  his victims included a 14-year old girl, young women, homeless people, prostitutes, and transvestites.

Peru: The Apostle of Death

God spoke to Pedro Pablo Nakada Ludeña and told him to rid the earth of prostitutes, drug addicts, homosexuals and the homeless – or that’s the justification he used to murder at least 17 people in Peru.

Known as “The Apostle of Death,” Ludeña walked the streets of Lima with a 9 mm gun equipped with a homemade silencer and killed those he felt deserved it, like a 50-year-old woman smoking pot that he passed on the street or a 42-year-old cosmetologist who may have been gay. Police eventually tracked down the “apostle” in 2006, engaging in a shoot-out with him before he was finally captured.

Bolivia: The Killer Actor

Ramiro Artieda was a sex criminal who was responsible for the murder of at least 8 18-year old women between 1937 and 1939, all of whom bared an uncanny resemblance to one another. Ramiro studied drama in the United States, where he learned the techniques that he’d use to help lure his victims. Some of the characters he created to commit his crimes included a film producer, a monk, and a professor. Using these disguises, he took women to secluded areas where he’d sexually abuse and then strangle them.

When he was captured by the authorities, the killer confessed that his intention was to kill any young women that he felt looked like an ex-girlfriend who had dumped him. He was sentenced to death on July 3, 1939.

Brazil: Pedrinho Matador

One of Brazil’s most infamous – and prolific – serial killers was responsible for at least 70 murders, slaying his first victim at at the age of 14. Pedro Rodrigues Filho, also known as “Pedrinho Matador” or Killer Petey. Even before he was born, Filho’s life was not easy – his father beat his pregnant mother so badly, Filho was born with a deformed skull.

He is believed to have killed 10 people by his 18th birthday, including the vice-mayor of his town after he fired his father. When Filho’s father murdered his mother, Filho exacted his revenge, killing the man, cutting out his heart and eating it. Filho was finally captured in 2003. He was convicted of murdering at least 70 people, but going to jail did not stop his crime spree – he murdered at least 40 inmates while he was in prison.

Argentina: The Argentine Vampire

Florencio was a sex criminal suffering from mental illness who, in the 1950s, suffered a delirium that made him believe he was a vampire. This belief lead him to kill 15 women by biting out their jugular veins, and he claimed that drinking blood gave him orgasms. He’d kill his victims by first following them home and then he’d break in through a window when they were alone.

He was caught in February 1960 at the age of 25 while living in a dark cave, since he suffered photophobia. He died a year later in a mental institution.