The Worker's Cauldron

Peru's Problem with Pishtacos

May 27, 2023 David Roddy, Monique Calhoun & Mercedas Castillo Season 5 Episode 3
The Worker's Cauldron
Peru's Problem with Pishtacos
Show Notes

There is a peculiar phantom rumored to haunt the rural roads of the South American Andes. The pishtaco takes the form of a tall, well-dressed white man who steals the fat from the bodies of the region's indigenous inhabitants. We explore how this monster was born out of the horrors of colonization and how it recreates itself throughout the history of Peru as the personification of oppression.


Mary Weismantel, Cholas and Pishtacos: Stories of Race and Sex in the Andes

Ernesto Vasquex Del Aguila, Pishtacos: Human Fat Murderers, Structural Inequalities and Resistances in Peru

Anthony Oliver-Smith, The Pishtaco: Institutionalized Fear in Highland Peru

Peter Gose, Sacrifice and the Commodity Form in the Andes 

The Guardian: Gang 'killed victims to extract their fat'

Peru's Fat-Stealing Gang: Crime or Cover-Up?

Democracy Now:
Peruvian Police Accused of Massacring Indigenous Protesters in Amazon Jungle

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