These Are Some Of The Most Notorious Crimes Committed In Latin America
The crime of the century is a phrase that gets used often when people see crimes that are truly unimaginable. Unfortunately, these crimes are a part of life and the Internet has made it possible for more people to see what people are capable of. While it’s true that we live in troubled times, there are some crimes that are just too gruesome or too bizarre to ever be forgotten. Here’s a list with the most notorious crimes in Latin America and their villainous protagonists.
The Angels of Death of Montevideo
The self-proclaimed “Angels of Death” were none other than male nurses Marcelo Pereira Guzzo and Juan Acevedo Agriela that were employed at public hospitals in Uruguay’s capital city. Their actions were revealed by an undercover operation dubbed “Operation Angels” and they were eventually charged with 16 murders. The murderous duo claimed they were only guilty of ‘’mercy killing’’ and that they there carrying out euthanasia to terminally-ill patients that they couldn’t bare see suffer. Further investigations, however, proved otherwise.
They injected patients to watch them die.
Being hospital workers, the nurses had plenty of alone time with their victims, as well as access to a whole arsenal of murder weapons. Their modus operandi involved injecting excessive doses of morphine or just plain air bubbles into the victims’ veins. Investigators also claimed that the two nurses often texted each other to brag about their kills.
The Argentine Vampire’s Thirst for Blood in Monteros, Argentina
Florencio Fernández terrorized the people of Monteros for quite a few years during the 1950s murdering young women in a horrible way. Fernández would sneak into houses through open windows on summer nights, beat his victims and then bite them in the throat to drink their blood. He was arrested in 1960 and was declared insane and sent to a psychiatric ward where he died a few years later.
The Vampire’s Lair
Those who claimed that his insanity was just an act quickly changed their minds. After his arrest, authorities revealed that Fernández had been living in a cave. Psychiatric reports state that he was photophobic, probably schizophrenic and had developed a sexual attraction to blood.
Special Agent Kiki’s Brutal Murder in Guadalajara, Mexico
Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena was on his way to meet with his wife when he was abducted in broad daylight by corrupt policemen in the employment of drug lord Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo. Kiki was a wanted man, as he was considered to be culpable for information that led to the destruction of a vast marijuana plantation. The agent was brutally tortured for 30 hours at Gallardo’s ranch and was even force-fed drugs to remain conscious throughout the process before finally succumbing on February 9, 1985.
The Red Ribbon Week Legacy
In honor of the special agent who sacrificed his life in the war against drugs, a campaign called Red Ribbon Week was initiated after his murder. The event gained international media attention for pushing for a drug-free society. Soon enough the campaign gathered momentum and is an annual event in the U.S.
The Apostle of Death in Lima, Peru
Pedro Pablo Nakada Ludeña a.k.a the “Apostle of Death” claimed he went on a killing spree because was on a mission from God. Ludeña claimed that God demanded that he cleanse Lima’s streets of all the drug addicts, homeless people, prostitutes, and homosexuals. Before he was arrested in 2006, Ludeña had murdered at least 17 people with a handgun, including a 50-year-old lady who was smoking marijuana and a man who he thought might have been gay.
The “apostle’’ was eventually arrested in 2006 after an intense chase and shootout with local police. He was trialed and sentenced to 35 years in prison, where he still serves time in a psychiatric ward. Surprisingly enough, his brother was also convicted for murdering six people with a knife in Japan back in 2015.
El Chapo’s Reign in Sinaloa, Mexico
In 2009, Forbes included famous Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán in its list with the world’s most powerful people, with an estimated fortune of around $1 billion dollars. Indeed the suspected cartel leader is so powerful that Mexican officials believe that he is connected to no less than 70,000 deaths relating to the drug trade and underground economy.
Public Enemy Number 1
Among countless others, El Chapo is believed to be responsible for murdering four Jehovah’s witnesses, uploading executions on YouTube, and bribing officials. He is also accused of rigging beauty pageants for his wives to win and putting a bounty on presidents.
The bank heist of the century in Brazil.
Back in 2005, employees of Banco Central in Fortaleza, Brazil started their week in the most unusual way. Soon after they opened up the bank, they found out that the vault, which was filled with old notes scheduled to be withdrawn from circulation, had been wiped clean over the weekend. The bank reported losses of 164 million Brazilian reals (about $90 million USD in current value) in what is considered to be the world’s most profitable heist.
The Elaborate Plan
This heist wasn’t just a spur-of-the-moment robbery. The burglars had long before rented a house next to the bank and pretended to do some renovating and gardening work to conceal the fact that they were actually digging a 330-feet underground tunnel leading to the bank’s vault. Even though there were several arrests in connection to this case and $9 million have been recovered, the police estimate that 18 of the culprits are still on the loose.
The Psychopath from Alto Hospicio, Chile
When teenage girls started mysteriously disappearing from the small town of Alto Hospicio near Santiago in 1998, the authorities were too slow to mobilize. Many believe it was because the girls all came from poor families. That left Julio Silva free to roam the streets, kidnap, assault, and sexually abuse more than 15 girls before the police even knew he existed.
The Inevitable Downfall
In 2001, a victim attempted to escape Silva who assaulted and abandoned her, mistakenly thinking she was dead. The young girl led the police directly to him and he was finally arrested. Silva confessed to murdering the girls and burying their bodies in a closeby mine shaft. He was sentenced to life in prison shortly after.
The Old Lady Killer of Mexico City
Juana Barraza a.k.a “La Mataviejitas” was a professional wrestler by day and a serial killer by night. As her nickname suggests, Barraza attacked and killed elderly women. Her mother was an alcoholic who reportedly sold her for three beers to a man that abused her as a child. Barraza took to killing older ladies later in life as a form of retaliation, believing she was greatly benefiting society.
Method to The Madness
Barraza was very methodical when it came to approaching a new victim. She had access to a list of women who received financial assistance from the government and she pretended to be a social worker sent to check on their health. She would help the women bring groceries into their homes and attack when they were inside. She strangled her victims with strings or telephone cords. Authorities struggled to find her because of her physical build from wrestling, they believed they were looking for a man.
Crimes of the “Monster of the Andes”
The life of Pedro López could easily compare to any gruesome Hollywood horror story. He was kicked out of his home after molesting his sister and was left on the streets. He traveled unceasingly throughout the continent, leaving a long trail of blood behind him. López is believed to have raped and murdered more than 300 young girls in Peru, Ecuador and Colombia alone.
A killer on the loose?
López was finally arrested in Ecuador after authorities discovered the bodies of four girls. He confessed to all his murders and was given 16 years in prison – the maximum time allowed by the country’s law at that time. His good behavior, however, means that he was released after 14 years in prison. He was then deported to Colombia where he spent four years in a psychiatric hospital before being diagnosed sane and making bail for $50. His whereabouts remain unknown to this day.
The Crime to End All Crimes in Brazil
Impossible as it may sound, this is probably the most bizarre entry on this list. Pedro Rodrigues Filho might be a serial killer, but he’s one of the more conscious ones. He might be responsible for about 70 murders, but the “Pedrinho Matador” chooses his victims carefully, as he targets other murderers, criminals, and wrongdoers.
A real-life “Dexter”
Filho’s first victim was his hometown’s vice-mayor who had wrongfully fired his father. Soon enough, he murdered his father as well for beating his mother before he was born. His killing spree continued with the murders of drug dealers, gang members, and murderers. He was released from prison in 2007.