BOGOTA, A man in Colombia known as the “Monserrate Monster” confessed to killing seven women in Bogota by strangling them, claiming it was in self-defense.
Four decomposing bodies of women ages 18 to 22 were recovered on Tuesday, El Tiempo reports. Bogota’s Metropolitan police identified the “Monserrate Monster” as Fredy Armando Valencia Vargas — a homeless drug addict.
Valencia Vargas, 37, confessed to killing young women who were drug addicts. He would lure them to a makeshift camp he made in the dense forest on Bogota’s Monserrate mountain, near a popular historic church.
He would offer the women comforts and hallucinogens — expecting sexual favors in return.
“I gave them food, clothes, bathed and gave them what they liked,” Valencia toldCityNoticias on Wednesday. “When they were clean, I told them to give me mine but no longer wanted to give me anything. They wanted to go and steal things. So they attacked me.”
Authorities said identifying the bodies may be difficult due to the degree of decomposition. Some of the bodies were dismembered. Valencia Vargas is being held by Bogota police and will be transported to the Modelo jail, where he will remain pending criminal proceedings.
Valencia Vargas will undergo a psychiatric evaluation at the prison and could possibly be placed in the prison’s mental health facility.
“I suffocated them by squeezing their neck. It was self-defense because they attacked me to leave without paying,” Valencia Vargas added. “Everything I did, I did in self-defense. They intended to assault me and all I did was defend myself.”
Valencia Vargas studied industrial engineering but began using drugs after his mother’s death about 12 years ago, eventually becoming homeless. He said he had a woman he loved who cheated on him, which devastated him just like his mother’s death.
“I have had to eat much fecal material, as they say, on the street,” Valencia Vargas said. “I have had it very hard. But my family [father and sister] helped me a lot at first. I had a woman, but she cheated on me.”
Newly established anti-femicide hate crime laws in Colombia have increased prison sentences for convicted killers to 22-41 years. But Valencia Vargas could face as little as 15 years behind bars because he confessed.