Two weeks ago I posted a link to a gruesome report that allegedly a Peruvian gang was killing people for human fat. Now the BBC has an update on that story:
Peru’s police chief has suspended a top investigator for saying he had caught a gang who were murdering people to sell their fat.
Last month, top organised crime investigator Felix Murga said police had arrested four suspects who confessed to murdering up to 60 people.
He said they were selling their fat for thousands of dollars a litre.
But the macabre tale now appears to be nothing more than a tall story – or a big fat lie.
In an extraordinary press conference, police showed two bottles of what they said was human fat and a photo of a decapitated head.
Mr Murga told journalists how four suspects had confessed to gruesome murders reviving an Andean legend about the Pishtacos – mythical killers who murdered people on lonely roads to collect their fat.
But two weeks later a complete lack of evidence showed the police account to be more fiction that fact.
As a result Peru’s chief of police, Miguel Hidalgo, announced Mr Murga would be put on indefinite leave from his job for sullying the reputation of his unit.
Initial doubts were compounded when police from the region where the crimes were alleged to have taken place said they knew nothing about a gang of murderers killing people for their fat.
They were only able to corroborate one of the dozens of alleged disappearances in a region where drug-trafficking and violence is rife.
It wasn’t fat, it was drugs and kidnappings.