“I like the girls in Ecuador. They are more gentle and trusting, more innocent”
Pedro Alonso Lopez was born on 8 October 1948 in Tolina, Colombia, the seventh of 13 children of a prostitute. The man who was to become known as “the Monster of the Andes” was eight years old in 1957 when he was thrown out of his home after his mother caught him fondling his younger sister.
He lived on the streets foraging for food until he was abducted by a paedophile who constantly raped him. An American family spotted him on the streets of Bogota and “adopted” him, enrolling him in a school for orphans but 12-year-old Lopez ran away. Back on the streets, Lopez became a petty thief and beggar. At 18 he was arrested for stealing cars and sentenced to seven years in prison. On his second day inside he was gang-raped by four other inmates and responded by killing three of them with a homemade blade. Two years was added to his sentence for the murders. By the time he was released in 1978, he was a very angry man with murder in his heart.
Lopez held a particular hatred for women and in the next two years went on a murder spree, focusing his attention mainly on girls between eight and 12. He picked on girls from Indian tribes who were less likely to be missed than white children. He also covered his tracks by travelling widely, killing across the Andes in Colombia, Peru and Ecuador.
Lopez later confessed to murdering 100 Peruvian girls before the Ayachuco Indians caught him while he was trying to abduct a nine-year-old girl. The Ayachucos stripped and tortured Lopez and were only stopped from burying him alive by the intervention of a female American missionary who persuaded them to hand him over to the authorities.
Instead of trying him, they simply drove him to the Ecuadorian border and let him go. Lopez resumed his killing in Ecuador and Colombia. Families reported missing children but the police did little or nothing, presuming the children had been abducted by slave traders. In April 1980 a flood in Ambato, Ecuador, uncovered the bodies of four children and finally the police began to take notice. Then Carvina Poveda saw Lopez trying to kidnap her 12-year-old daughter, Maria, and screamed for help. The police arrested the serial killer but he refused to talk.
Colombia; Peru; Ecuador
It was only when Father Cordoba Gudino pretended to be a fellow prisoner that Lopez spoke of his crimes, much to the horror of the clergyman who asked to be relieved of the task. Lopez admitted to killing 100 girls in Colombia, 110 in Ecuador and still more in Peru.
“I like the girls in Ecuador. They are more gentle and trusting, more innocent. I lost my innocence at eight, so I decided to do the same to as many girls as I could.”
He also said he preferred to kill in daylight because he enjoyed seeing the fear in their eyes. At first police refused to believe him and it was only when he took them to the graves that they realized his tales were true. He is currently serving a life sentence.