Saturday, April 2, 2011

Killing People for their Fat

I had missed this one.

People being killed for their fat.

Peruvian police have captured several members of a remote jungle gang that kills people for their fat, which they purportedly sell on the black market for use in cosmetics.
One suspect told police that the killers would cut off their victims' heads and limbs, remove the organs and suspended the torsos from hooks over candles to melt fat from the bodies.
Two suspects who were arrested carrying bottles of liquid fat told police it was worth $60,000 a gallon. Police displayed two bottles of amber-colored fluid seized from the suspects which testing proved to be human fat.
Police dubbed the jungle-based gang the "Pishtacos" after a Peruvian myth of Incas who killed to extract human fat, quartering their victims with machetes.
The suspects told police the fat was sold to intermediaries in Lima. Mejia said he suspects the fat was sold to cosmetic companies in Europe, but had no proof.
One gang member, Elmer Segundo Castillejos, 29, led police to the rotted severed head of one victim in coca-growing valley last month, Mejia said.
Six members of the gang have eluded capture, including the leader, Hilario Cudena, 56, who Castillejos said has been killing to extract fat from victims for more than three decades.
 Another article does a little deeper digging, and notes that ready supplies of human fat could be had for the asking if the purpose was legitimate.   One California surgeon used it to power his car.  One wonders if the the purpose is more nefarious than cosmetics.

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