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El Pozolero: The Man Who Dissolved More than 650 People in Acid

The story of the Mexican soupmaker is Horrifying
The story of the Mexican soupmaker is Horrifying

The case of El Pozolero is filled with horror. In 2009, police found the remains of at least 240 people who are thought to have been killed by a single contract killer who used acid to dissolve his victims in containers before putting them in unmarked graves.

The killer, known as “The Soup Maker” for his technique of murder, is believed to have murdered as many as 650 people and buried them in a spot in Tijuana. Hominy, chicken, pork, and vegetables are the Mexican soup’s main ingredients, called pozole (made the grisly connection yet?)

Authorities said that Santiago Meza Lopez, also known as El Pozolero, frequently visited the area and is suspected of having worked for the Sinaloa Drug Cartel in Mexico. Despite a prosecution alleging that he killed at least 300 people before his 2009 arrest, Lopez has not yet received a punishment.

Lopez is accused of placing the corpses in acid containers before pouring the acid into the crevices to dissolve the flesh and bones. Workers found 170 to 200 kg of human bones and 16,500 liters of organic waste in the alleged killing grounds.

The arrest of El Pozolero

The arrest of El Pozolero

The estimates presented by the officials indicate that some 650 persons might be buried there.

The remains were discovered in a location known as The Chicken Coop in Tijuana, in the Mexican state of Baja California. According to Fernando Ocegueda Flores, president of the United for the Disappeared of Baja California association, “those kinds of would-be those bodies we bagged on the most recent occasion.”

El Pozolero Story

There were some nearly finished bodies. According to the Federal Attorney General’s Office, the 16,500 liters of organic matter may contain up to 650 bodies. Probing has been happening at the location since Lopez was brought into custody and is awaiting trial.

Investigators found fat, body parts, and bones in 2011 while El Pozolero stayed on properties in the Mexican border city of Tijuana. El Pozolero acknowledged blending the bodies of drug gang victims.

El Pozolero being arrested from his Chicken Coop

El Pozolero being arrested from his Chicken Coop

A criminal justice reform advocate, Fernando Ocegueda, asserted about seven years ago that there was proof the bones belonged to persons whom cartel body handler Santiago Meza Lopez had killed.

Mexican authorities took Meza Lopez into custody in January 2009 because he may have helped a drug lord carry out hundreds of executions. The victims are reportedly believed to include rivals of Teodoro Garcia Simental, a rumored former officer of the Arellano Felix drug gang, which has its headquarters in Tijuana.

After being taken into custody, Meza Lopez admitted that he was paid £440 per week for his work and recounted how he allegedly discarded the bodies. Meza Lopez acknowledged to investigators that December 2007, when he claimed to have dumped 32 bodies, was his busiest month.

Remains of the victims of El Pozolero

Remains of the victims of El Pozolero

The Sinaloa Cartel is a global organized crime organization that deals in money laundering and drug trafficking. The Sinaloa Cartel is primarily located in Culiacan, Sinaloa, and was established in the middle of the 1980s. Additionally, it conducts operations in the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Baja California, Durango, and Sonora.

After admitting to dissolving at least 300 bodies in acid for a drug gang in Tijuana, Santiago Meza López will have to spend more time in jail. As a result, Meza, 57, popularly known as “El Pozolero,” was informed that his opportunity at freedom was being rejected since he had not yet been punished for several crimes.

Meza might eventually submit a probation application this year.

According to Ocegueda, he continues to face a lengthy wait in jail because he hasn’t received a statement for his clandestine crimes against society, his connections to organized crime, or his illegal operations against public health.

One of the barrels with the human remains still in them

One of the barrels with the human remains still in them

He will also be given a sentence for having a weapon meant for military use. In 2009, the military took Meza into custody in Ensenada, a border town roughly 70 miles from the border.

Meza has connections to the Arellano Felix cartel, which had control over the movement of drugs from Tijuana into the US in the past.

He acknowledged that he was making $600 every week by submerging corpses in a tub of acid and sodium hydroxide and “moving” them for eight hours until all of the body parts had disintegrated, save for the teeth, nails, and perhaps some bone fragments.

Meza said that whatever was left will be burned and buried in a waste area on his property.

Meza reportedly said to his family that doing this kind of work would be preferable to watching his children starve to death. According to reports, investigators have found 14,000 to 15,000 human remains that Meza’s ranch had been hiding since he was imprisoned.

Other Violent Criminals from South America

Millions of individuals in Latin America suffer from crime and violence on a daily basis. The state fails to prevent crime and organised crime seizes state power in places where the state is unable to help the society, such as in destitute communities, leading some to believe that social inequality is a significant influence in the levels of violence in Latin America.

Crime and violence have intensified in Latin America in the years after the shifts from autocracy to democracy.

The cartels of Mexico

The cartels of Mexico

Between 2000 and 2017, the area saw more than 2.5 million homicides. The Pan American Health Organization referred to violence in Latin America as “the social pandemic of the 20th century” and said that numerous research have suggested the presence of an epidemic in the area.

Aside from the immediate human cost, the increase in crime and violence has had a substantial negative societal impact and made it much harder for the Americas to advance economically and socially, consolidate their democracies, and integrate regionally. Here are some of the most prominent ones.

Pedro López

Pedro López, often known as “The Monster of the Andes,” was found guilty of raping and killing 110 women. However, this horrible corpse count is the start of his heinous atrocities. López is believed to have killed around 300 women and girls as he went across South America from Peru to Ecuador to his native Colombia, sometimes killing two or three a week.

Earlier in life, López displayed his tendencies, and he was expelled from his house for assaulting his sister. On the streets, López’s situation did not get any better as he was abused by foster parents, teachers, and other inmates after being arrested.

Once he was free of his attackers, many of whom he killed, he turned his attention to the helpless and young.

Pedro Lopez in his mugshot

Pedro Lopez in his mugshot

The Sword and Scale podcast claim that in 1978, tribal chiefs in Peru nearly put López to death. However, a missionary saved his life, and he fled to Colombia, where he continued his crime rampage.

The discovery of the bodies of four young girls led to his eventual capture in Ecuador. He acknowledged raping and murdering 110 people, most of whom were young girls between the ages of seven and twelve, in Ecuador alone.

Additionally, he admitted to the murder of 240 young girls in Colombia and Peru.

He was sentenced to maximum imprisonment under Ecuadorian law at the time, only 16 years, but he was released after 14 years for good behavior. After being brought back to Colombia, where he was condemned to a psychiatric hospital, he was found to be sane after only four years and released on a $50 bond. His current whereabouts are unknown.

Pedro Pablo Nakada Ludea

According to the evidence, Pedro Pablo Nakada Ludea murdered at least 17 individuals in Peru after God instructed him to purge the world of prostitutes, drug users, homosexuals, and the homeless.

Known as “The Apostle of Death,” Ludea killed people he believed deserved it while walking the streets of Lima with a 9 mm gun fitted with a homemade silencer, such as a 50-year-old lady smoking marijuana whom he passed on the road or a 42-year-old cosmetologist who may have been gay.

Pedro Pablo Nakada Ludea being arrested

Pedro Pablo Nakada Ludea being arrested

The “apostle” was eventually located by police in 2006, who engaged him in a shootout before he was finally apprehended. Although Ludea admitted to killing 25, he was found guilty of only 17 murders. He received a sentence of 35 years in a prison psychiatric ward.

In an odd turn of events, Ludea’s brother was detained in 2015 for a stabbing spree that claimed the lives of six people in Japan.

Pedro Rodrigues Filho

At least 70 murders were committed by one of Brazil’s most notorious and prolific serial killers, who killed his first victim at 14. Pedro Rodrigues Filho is called Killer Petey or “Pedrinho Matador.”

Filho’s life was difficult when he was conceived since his father beat his expectant mother so severely that he was born with a malformed head. By turning 18, he is thought to have murdered ten people, including the vice-mayor of his town, who had just fired his father.

Pedro Rodrigues Filho. He's currently a YouTuber

Pedro Rodrigues Filho. He’s currently a YouTuber

Filho took revenge on his father for killing his mother by killing him, removing his heart, and eating it. In 2003, Filho was ultimately apprehended. Despite being found guilty of killing at least 70 people, he continued his murderous rampage while incarcerated, killing at least 40 inmates.

Luis Garavito

Even though few creatures could match Luis Garavito’s atrocities, he undoubtedly earned the moniker “the Beast.” Garavito admits killing and raping 140 young boys, but the number of victims may be closer to 300.

Garavito lured his young victims, who were between the ages of eight and 16, over a terrible five-year period, from 1994 to 1999, using food, toys, and money. He occasionally pretended to be a monk or a street seller to entice the kids away from their homes and parents while making them feel safe.

Luis Garavito. Right, the remains of a girl

Luis Garavito. Right, the remains of a girl

Then, after sexually assaulting them and frequently tormenting them, he would slice their throats and dismember their young bodies once he had them in a private area. One hundred fourteen of his victims’ skeletons have been discovered, but many remain unaccounted for.

He was ultimately apprehended and found guilty, ending his reign as Colombia’s worst serial killer.

Julio Silva

In 1998, young women began to vanish from Alto Hospicio, a small mining community 1,100 kilometers from Santiago, Chile. The women were from low-income homes, and the police chose not to look into the disappearances because they thought the teenagers had gone away.

Police didn’t find Julio Silva until 2001 when a 13-year-old girl narrowly escaped after being kidnapped, assaulted, and left for dead. Before being apprehended by authorities, Silva had been abducting, raping, and killing teenage females for two years.

Julio Silva

Julio Silva

He finally gained the moniker “Psychopath from Alto Hospicio” due to his cruelty. Police didn’t become aware a serial killer had been at large in their city for years until he led them to the bodies of his victims, seven teenage girls between the ages of 14 and 17, whose bodies had been buried in an abandoned mine shaft.

Before the authorities were even aware of him, Silva had murdered 14 females, making him the most prolific serial killer of young people in Chilean history. The Chilean government apologized to the victims’ families for its slow response, and Silva was handed a life term in jail.

Carlos Eduardo Robledo Puch

Carlos Eduardo Robledo Puch, Argentina’s most prolific serial murderer, carried out a spate of armed robberies, sexually assaulted two women, hit numerous other women, and killed 11 people in under 11 months beginning in March 1971.

Robledo Puch never fit the killer’s description, albeit he occasionally worked with an accomplice, at least one of whom passed away in questionable circumstances. He came from an affluent family and was young, gorgeous, and clever, but he rejected his privileged upbringing.

Carlos Eduardo Robledo Puch being arrested

Carlos Eduardo Robledo Puch being arrested

Since two of his victims were asleep when they were killed, he killed without rhyme or reason. In fact, he never stated a reason for his actions. He gained the moniker “Angel of Death” due to these late-night visits.

He finally had a psychopath label placed on him; in response, he said, “Someday, I’m going to get out and kill you all.” He received a life sentence in prison in 1980 and has never been eligible for parole.

Daniel Camargo Barbosa

Over 150 teenage girls are thought to have been raped, murdered, and mutilated by Daniel Camargo Barbosa between the 1970s and 1980s in Colombia and Ecuador. Because of the cruel way he treated his victims, chopping them to pieces with a machete, he came to be known as “The Sadist of El Charquito.”

Camargo was eventually detained in Colombia for the rape and murder of a nine-year-old girl, even though he was implicated in the killings of 80 women and girls. He was found guilty and given a 25-year prison term.

Daniel Camargo Barbosa being arrested

Daniel Camargo Barbosa being arrested

He was imprisoned on an island but managed to escape, swimming through shark-infested waters to Ecuador, where he resumed his heinous crimes, raping and killing at least 70 more people. He was apprehended and charged with other murders, along with the possible involvement of up to 50 more women.

He received a 1989 sentence of just 16 years in prison for his offenses which was Ecuador’s maximum punishment. However, Carmago was never able to leave prison because he was murdered in 1994 by another inmate.

Tiago Henrique Gomes da Rocha

Tiago Henrique Gomes da Rocha murdered 39 people in four years. Gomes da Rocha was a security guard in the little settlement of Goiania in the center of Brazil. While riding his motorcycle through the city’s streets at night, he robbed stores, pharmacies, and lotteries.

He would cry “robbery” at individuals while acting like he was going to mug them, then shoot them dead. In addition to a 14-year-old girl, other victims of Gomes da Rocha’s crimes against women and sex workers included young women, the homeless, transvestites, and prostitutes.

Gomes da Rocha stole a license plate off a motorcycle in a supermarket parking lot and put it on his bike as police looked into the succession of horrifying murders. After that minor offense, the authorities knew Gomes da Rocha and soon believed he was a suspect in the killings.

Tiago Henrique Gomes da Rocha being arrested

Tiago Henrique Gomes da Rocha being arrested

In October 2014, he was apprehended a few days later and confessed to the killings, saying to authorities that he did it to vent the “fury” he had inside of him. In his grandmother’s home, where he lived, police discovered the .38 pistol he had used in the crimes.

Knives, handcuffs, a hammer, and additional stolen license plates were also found. He attempted suicide after being apprehended by slashing his wrists and destroying a lightbulb in his cell. He was unsuccessful, and he is still in prison.

RIP Victims

After the Soup Maker, try the case of The Soap Maker of Italy. If you’re interested in Mythology and Legends, the Horrifying Story of the Morbach Monster Will Sate Your Hunger!


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Written By

Abin Tom Sebastian, also known as Mr. Morbid in the community, is an avid fan of the paranormal and the dark history of the world. He believes that sharing these stories and histories are essential for the future generations. For god forbid, we have seen that those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.

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