It is 4 am, the beginning to another dreadful and dark day. Woken from the growling hungry stomach you fell asleep to and your aching back from the hard floor you sleep on every night. You are to push yourself to wake up and begin to get ready. You begin with your early morning prayer. Make sure your are kneeling properly for if you don’t kneel properly you will be hit. No. Not hit, beaten. Pray your rosary because God will not forgive you if you are to go a day without praying your rosary. Now get up, you are to clean the house and help your mother with the landry. No complaining. You spend your whole day doing chores for the house, no fun, no freedom. That overwhelming stress and anxiety of your father coming home is all you are thinking about all day. What will he be upset about today? Hopefully he won’t scream. Make sure dinner is ready and the house is clean when he gets home. Finally the time comes. He’s home, drunk once again and you don’t know what to expect. You aren’t allowed to look him in the eyes for it is a sign of disrespect. Be at his command. The second he is unhappy, expect a beating. He notices the bit of makeup you put on in the morning. That cute lipstick the lady from the town shop gave to you. The second he points it out your heart begins to rush because you know what is to come. You feel that intense heavy grip on your wrist pulling your arm so tight you feel your shoulder is going to pop out. Your face is soaked from all your tears as he throws you to the ground, yells at you and locks you up. Back on your knees, praying for hope. Will you ever get out of this prison? Lay on the ground, hold your growling stomach, back to sleep and expect the same for the next day.
They say, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. A saying that is used to explain the whole idea that the habits that a parent portrays are the same habits that their offspring will take on. Yet, there are cases where it seems that children create their own habits. The parents can be very humble and friendly people meanwhile their children can become these vicious and hateful human beings. Vicious and heartless enough to torture or take another’s life. You’re left to wonder, what leads a person to be heartless enough to have no mercy or sympathy for the world? Were they never shown any sort of sympathy? Las Poquianchis are four sisters that were raised in poverty in a very two sided household. Meanwhile their mother was an extremely biblically religious woman, their father was very abusive and violent. These four sisters; Carmen, Delfina, Maria de Jesus and Maria Luisa were the Gonzalez Valenzuela sisters that later on took on the nickname, Las Poquianchis which has become a huge name in the criminal history of Mexico. Beginning with opening an unsuccessful bar to owning several brothels where they stole women to work, starved and tortured them in countless ways.They are to blame for the death of about 150 lives.
These four sisters are from El Salto, Jalisco where they were raised by an extremely religious mother and violent father. In Antonio Ruiz’s article, Las Poquianchis:The story of las Hermanas Gonzalez, Mexico’s most horrific serial murderers, he explains the circumstances in which they were raised. Their father was so abusive he would, “imprison his daughters for wearing make up and even shot a man dead once in an argument”(Ruiz). Imagine growing up in these circumstances where you are to praise a God that is to be feared and respect a man that feels he has to be aggressive in order to feel in control. Everyday you are to watch your step because as soon as you mess up, you are to get a beating. There was no sense of communication in their household. It was all just hunger, prayer and unnecessary violence.
Eager to escape these terrible conditions, one of the sisters, Carmen began to date an older man, Jesus Vargas in hopes of being taken away. In the small documentary, Las Poquianchis Historia Real, it is explained how they began to grow in their malicious acts. It is said that the father caught the sister trying to escape with the older man and brought her home only to give her one of the worst beatings. There was no hope in them escaping as long as their father was around. Carmen continued to date Jesus which was where she was introduced into the business. Jesus was the owner of an unsuccessful bar which eventually was closed down, but that was what sparked up the sisters’ idea of opening this type of business. Once the parents died, the sisters were able to take a share of a small amount of savings and seeked business. Delfina opened up the first business and began her search for naive girls to lure in. This business was a success up until 1948 as the documentary states, a gun fight broke out so it was then closed down. Yet, this did not interfere with their money hungry eagerness. They moved to San Juan de los Lagos which is where they opened their first successful brothel, the famous Guadalajara de Noche where Delfina remained the head of it all and Maria Luisa and Carmen were in charge of the money and food of the business. After this successful brothel, they opened up another one in San Francisco del Rincon where they named it, Los Poquianchis.
The women that they had working for them were mostly all kidnapped or manipulated into believing that they were going to work in the big city as maids or waitresses. Once kidnapped, they would begin to drug the women and rape them in order to give them a feel of what kind of work they were going into. This whole business was corrupt due to the fact that most of their clients were soldiers, police officers and politics. So there was really no way these women could escape. They were constantly being abused and punished for any little thing that was seen to be wrong. The sisters continued their strong religious beliefs, but to their own advantage. According to the documentary, Las Poquianchis by Pasion Latina Montreal, the women were to be beaten and killed if they commit acts that were prohibited and might offend God such as lesbians. It was okay for them to be prostitutes, but they just couldn’t do anything that wasn’t “approved by God”. If the women were to get pregnant, they would have them beat to have an abortion or if the babies were born, they would kill them. When the women got really sick or caught an STI, they were useless so they would then leave them out to die by starving them or just beating them. These women were fed a small bowl of beans and burnt stale tortillas every day. Their every move was speculated and they were constantly threatened in order to raise fear so they would never try and leave.
It wasn’t until 1946 when one of their women escaped and was able to go to the police and seek help. In the news article, Las Poquianchis, las hermanas asesinas de 150 personas, it is stated that, in Guanajuato police discovered a whole semetary of human remains and several boxes filled with fetuses. The sisters were then arrested and very few of the women were able to be saved.
In Dr. Cohen’s Monster Theories, their story can be related to his second theory, “The Monster Always Escapes.” To these sisters, their monster was their father and living in poverty. It was all torture for them up until their parents died and they were able to escape. Yet, they then became monsters themselves taking the same characteristics their father portrayed. Keeping their “religious beliefs” that were implemented by their mother, but using them to their own advantage. Having no mercy or sympathy for these women that they tortured and murdered for years. Almost as if you see these parallels between their father and the sisters. What began as a desperate cry for help, led to a heartless obsession of power.
“Las Poquianchis: The Story of Las Hermanas Gonzalez, Mexico’s Most Horrific Serial Murderers.” LatinLife, http://www.wearelatinlive.com/article/5139/las-poquianchis-the-story-of-las-hermanas-gonzalez-mexicos-most-horrific-serial-murderers.
PasionLatinaMontreal. “’Las Poquianchis’ 1.” YouTube, YouTube, 29 Nov. 2015, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZyyafhgEGk0.
Redes de Información, et al. “Las Poquianchis, Las Hermanas Asesinas De 150 Personas.” Inicio, UNIÓN GUANAJUATO, Redes De Información y Educación Del Siglo XXI De EL UNIVERSAL y UNO TV, 17 Apr. 2019, http://www.unionguanajuato.mx/articulo/cultura/las-poquianchis-las-hermanas-que-asesinaron-150-personas.
OSCURIDAD, EN LA. “‘LAS POQUIANCHIS’ HISTORIA REAL.” YouTube, YouTube, 10 Dec. 2014, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KhlthtNj7mo.
Cohen, Jeffrey Jerome, editor. “Monster Culture (Seven Theses).” Monster Theory: Reading Culture, NED – New edition ed., University of Minnesota Press, 1996, pp. 3–25. JSTOR,