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Becky G
Becky G
April 15, 2024

Pedro Lopez


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Pedro Alonzo Lopez, better known as The Monster of the Andes, is a Colombian serial killer, child rapist, and fugitive. He is known to have murdered a minimum of 110 people but has claimed to have killed over 300 people. Many consider Lopez as one of the most prolific serial killers and rapists in history.

Lopez was born in Colombia on October 8, 1948, in Venadillo. Lopez was the seventh out of the thirteen children of his mother, Benilda López de Castañeda, who was a prostitute, and, according to Lopez, physically abusive. His dad, Medardo Reyes, was a member of the country’s right-wing party, in which they killed him 6 months before López was born. His mom described Pedro as nice and polite when he was younger and apparently wanted to be a teacher when he was older. His family kicked Lopez out of his house when he was 8 because his mom caught him trying to molest his sister. He later went to the streets of Bogotá, where he joined a gang and smoked basuco, which is an impure form of cocaine. While on the streets, a stranger offered López a bed, but instead he took him to an abandoned building and sexually assaulted him. Later on, he was adopted when he was 12 by an American family, but left later on when a teacher sexually assaulted him. This led to López speaking about wanting vengeance for all his suffering as a child. López was arrested when he was 21 for stealing a car, and while he was in jail, he was raped by 2 men, which he then killed with a makeshift knife. 

Once López was released in 1978, he started wandering throughout the northwestern area of South America, until he eventually arrived in Peru. Here he would lure his victims to remote areas, committing rape and murder. López claimed that around this time he had killed over 100 girls, mainly those of indigenous backgrounds and street children who didn’t have many economic needs. It’s known that López was captured by an Ayacucho, an indigenous tribe, after he attempted to abduct a nine-year-old girl. The Ayacuchoan tribe stripped his clothes off, took his belongings, and buried him alive. A Western missionary convinced the tribe to turn López over to the police. They didn’t detain him, but instead deported him to Colombia without properly considering the crimes inflicted on the natives and the danger that his release posed to the society. 

López continued these murders, and by the late ‘70s, he went to Ecuador where the number of missing girls rose. In 1980, in the Ambato region, vender, Carolina Ramon, and a group of people caught López trying to lure Ramon’s daughter from a busy market. When López was in police custody he refused to talk until investigator Pastor Cordova Gudino went undercover as a fellow inmate. Once they gained López’s trust, Gudino was able to get a confession from him as well as a description of where the victims had been buried. She had also learned that he would lure his victims away from public spaces with a trinket, before raping and strangulating them with his bare hands. He also claimed that he would occasionally exhume the victim’s bodies from their burial site and have “tea parties’ ‘ with them. Police dug up 56 bodies. Once López gave his full confession, he was charged with 110 murders. On July 31, 1981, López pleaded guilty to all the 57 girl murders, where he was diagnosed as a sociopath. Due to Ecuador’s laws, López only received a maximum sentence of 16 years.   

Lopez was released 14 years later with good behavior and was later declared insane and institutionalized in a psychiatric facility in 1985. In February 1988, he was declared sane in which he was released with a 50-dollar bail, with some additional stipulations. He visited his grandmother, where he asked for his inheritance, and sold her bed and chair to people on the street. López then ended up vanishing, with some concerns that had risen with his possible connection to a 2002 murder. López’s whereabouts are still unknown.

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About the Contributor
Jessica Aguilar-Resendiz is a student who lives in Cornelius Oregon. She likes to bake, listen to music and hang out with friends.

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