Daniel Camargo Barbosa

‘The Sadist of El Chanquito’

Daniel Camargo Barbosa was a psychopathic serial killer from Colombia, South America. It is believed that he raped and killed over 150 young girls in Colombia and Ecuador during the 1970s and 1980s.

Classification: Serial Killer
Date of Birth: January 22, 1930
Distinguishing characteristics: Rape
Number of Victims: 72+
Date of Murders: 1974/1984-1986
Victims Profile: Young Girls
Method of Murder: Strangulation
Location: Columbia/Ecuador
Status: Sentenced to 16 years in prison, in 1989, the maximum sentence available in Ecuador. He was later killed in prison by another prisoner on November 13, 1994

Barbosa earned the name of “The Sadist of El Chanquito” for the brutal treatment of his victims – hacking them to pieces with a machete. While Camargo was suspected in the deaths of 80 women and girls, he was eventually arrested in Colombia for the rape and murder of a nine-year old girl. He was convicted and sentenced to 25 years in jail.

He managed to escape from the island prison where he was held, though, making his way through shark-infested water to Ecuador, where he continued his gruesome crimes, raping and killing at least 70 more victims.

I’m imagining something like this…

He was captured again however, and charged with even more deaths – and was suspected of murdering up to 50 more women. Believe it or not, he was sentenced to a mere 16 years in prison in 1989 for his crimes, as it was then the maximum penalty in Ecuador. Carmago never made it out of prison, though, as he was killed by another prisoner in 1994.

In more detail...

Camargo’s mother died when he was a little boy and his father was known to be overbearing and emotionally distant. He was raised by an abusive stepmother, who punished him and sometimes dressed him in girls clothing, making him a victim of ridicule in front of everyone he knew.

He was first arrested in Bogotá on May 24, 1958 for petty theft, but things got much, much worse from then on…

Camargo had a de facto union with a woman named Alcira and had two children with her. However, he then fell in love with another woman, Esperanza, age 28 whom he planned to marry. But then found out that she was not a virgin he was no longer interested. This became a deep root of Camargo’s fixations and he and Esperanza formed an agreement that he would stay with her if she aided him in finding other virgin girls to have sex with.

This began a period of their partnership in crime. Esperanza was Camargo’s accomplice, luring young girls to an apartment under false pretences and then drugging them with Sodium Seconal sleeping pills so that Camargo could rape them. Camargo committed five rapes in this way, but did not actually kill any of the girls.

The fifth child that they abused in this way reported the crime and both Camargo and Esperanza were arrested and taken to separate prisons. Camargo was convicted of sexual assault in Colombia on April 10, 1964.

A judge sentenced Camargo to three years in prison and Camargo was initially grateful for the perceived leniency of the judge, swearing to repent and mend his ways. However, a new judge was given precedence over the case and Camargo was sentenced to eight years in prison. This provoked Camargo’s inner rage and he was hella-cray. He served his full sentence and was released…

In 1973 he was arrested again in Brazil for being undocumented. Due to a delay in sending Camargo’s criminal records from Colombia he was deported and released with his false identity. When he returned to Colombia, he took up a job as a street vendor in Barranquilla selling television monitors – as you do.

One day when passing by a school, he kidnapped a nine-year-old girl, raping her and murdering her so that she could not inform the police like his previous victim had. This was his first assault involving murder.

Camargo was arrested on May 3, 1974 in Barranquilla, Colombia when he returned to the scene of the crime to recover the television screens that he had forgotten beside the victim. (Rookie mistake)

He was initially sentenced to 30 years in prison, but this sentence was reduced to 25 years and he was interned in the prison on the island of Gorgona, Colombia on December 24, 1977.

In November 1984 Camargo escaped from Gorgona in a very ‘primitive’ boat after having carefully studied the ocean currents. The authorities assumed that he died at sea and the press reported that he had been eaten by sharks.

Well, we know that he did not…

He eventually arrived in Quito, Ecuador. He then traveled by bus to Guayaquil on the 5th or 6th December, 1984. On December 18 he abducted a nine-year-old girl from the city of Quevedo, in the province of Los Ríos Ecuador. The next day a 10-year-old girl also disappeared.

From 1984 to 1986, Carmago committed a series of at least 54 rapes and murders in Guayaquil. The police at first believed that all the deaths were the work of a gang, not understanding that one man could have killed so many. Camargo slept on the streets and lived off of the money he could gain by reselling ballpoint pens in the streets. (Where on earth did he find these jobs?!) Occasionally he supplemented his income by selling clothing or small valuables belonging to his victims.

How did he go about finding his victims, you ask? Well…

Camargo selected helpless, young, lower-class girls in search of work and approached them, pretending to be a foreigner who needed to find a Protestant pastor in a church on the outskirts of town. He explained that he had to deliver a large sum of money, which he showed them as proof and he offered them a reward if they would accompany him to show him the way.

Oh, Girls…

He pretended that he was a stranger to the area, and hinted at the possibility of the girls getting a job at the factory. No one was suspicious of an older man accompanying a girl or young woman who could be his granddaughter.

Carmago would then enter into the woods, claiming to be looking for a shortcut in order to avoid arousing suspicion in his victims. If the girls grew suspicious and drew back, he did not prevent them from leaving. (I really hope there were a lot of girls who did not choose to go into the woods with a random stranger)

Camargo raped his victims before strangling them, sometimes stabbing them when they resisted. After his victims were dead, he left their bodies in the forest to be picked clean by scavengers.

Eventually, Camargo was arrested by two policemen in Quito on 26 February 1986 only a few minutes after he had murdered a 9-year-old girl named Elizabeth. The policemen were on patrol and approached him at the height of the avenue Los Granados, thinking that he was acting suspicious. They were surprised to find that he was carrying with him a bag containing the bloody clothes of his latest victim, and a copy of “Crime and Punishment” by Dostoyevsky.

He was taken into custody and later moved to Guayaquil for identification. When he was arrested he gave a false name, Manuel Bulgarin Solis, but he was later identified by one of his rape victims who managed to escape.

Daniel Camargo very calmly confessed to killing 71 girls in Ecuador since escaping from the Colombian prison and even led authorities to the dumping grounds of those victims whose bodies had not yet been recovered; the bodies had been dismembered.

While he told the Ecuadorean authorities of the locations of the bodies and how the sadistic crimes were committed, he showed no feelings of remorse. After raping his victims, he had hacked, slashed and crushed the girls with a machete. He gave a cynical explanation for choosing children. He wanted virgins “because they cried”; this apparently gave him greater satisfaction.

According to Camargo, he killed because he wanted revenge on woman’s unfaithfulness. He hated them for not being what women are supposed to be. His victims were all virgins.

(Men and their unrealistic expectations of women 🙄)

In June 1986 Francisco Febres Cordero, a journalist for Hoy (Today) Newspaper, managed to arrange an interview with Camargo. It was difficult to get the interview due to the Police blocking all access to Camargo and the fact that Camargo himself demanded a large fee before he would let himself be interviewed. The journalist pretended to be part of a group of psychologists that were allowed access to the prisoner, allowing him to ask Camargo questions without arousing his suspicion.

Afterwards, Francisco Febres Cordero described him as highly intelligent, “He had an answer for everything and was able to speak of God and the Devil equally”. Well-read, he cited Hesse, Vargas Llosa, García Márquez, Guimarães Rosa, Nietzsche, Stendhal and Freud – all knowledge that he acquired from a literary education during his time in prison on the Isle of Gargona.

Camargo was finally convicted in 1989 and sentenced to 16 years in prison, the maximum sentence available in Ecuador. While serving his sentence in the Garcia Moreno de Quito jail, he claimed to have converted to Christianity. In this penitentiary, he was imprisoned with Pedro Alonso Lopez (“the Monster of the Andes”), who is believed to have raped and killed more than 300 girls in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. (Perhaps a future blog entry)

It was reported that in November 1994, he was murdered in prison by Luis Masache Narvaez, the cousin of one of his victims.

Why So Serial?

Pure Psychopath. No added colourings or preservatives – he was the real deal. He had all the signs: rough childhood etc. and of course there was being dressed up as a little girl – who then became the focus of his kills. He’s an interesting one for sure. But as to why he actually did what he did…



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