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Posted 20 Nov 2009 at 17:42 PM by Mr X


Criminals claim they were able to make 36,000 a gallon on the black market for fat drained from their victims' corpses.
They have been nicknamed the "Pishtacos", by police, after an ancient Peruvian myth of men who killed to extract human fat, quartering their victims with machetes.

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Three suspects have already confessed to killing five people, but the gang may have been involved in dozens more, Col Jorge Mejia, chief of the country's anti-kidnapping police said.
One of the suspects has also alleged that other gangs are also involved in the gruesome trade.
Two of them are said to have been arrested carrying bottles of liquid human fat which, according to police, were bound for middlemen in Lima.
But medical experts have cast doubt on the explanation, saying that there was a ready supply of fat on the open market.
At a news conference Col Mejia showed off two bottles of fat he said were recovered from the suspects and a photograph of the rotting head of a 27-year-old male victim.
Elmer Segundo Castillejos, 29, one of the suspects, led police to the head in a coca-growing valley last month, he said.
Police are working on the theory that the fat was bound for the cosmetics market in Europe but were unable to provide evidence of any sales.
Col Mejia said that Mr Castillejos had recounted how the gang cut off its victims' heads, arms and legs and removed the organs before hanging the bodies from hooks above candles to warm the flesh and collect the fat in tubs.
He said that six members of the gang remain at large including the alleged ringleader who is said to have been carrying out the practice for 30 years.
This year alone, at least 60 people are listed as missing in Huanuco province, where the gang allegedly operated, although it is also home to drug-trafficking leftist rebels.
Medical experts said that human fat does have cosmetic applications but doubted that there would be a black market for the substance.
Fat used in anti-wrinkle treatments is extracted from the patient who is being treated, usually from the stomach or buttocks.
The three suspects have been charged with homicide, criminal conspiracy, illegal firearms possession and drug trafficking, according to a statement from Lima Superior Court. Police said they were searching for the alleged buyer.
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