Saturday, April 10, 2010

Bacalao Men - El Comegente (The Cannibal)

"El Comegente" ("The Cannibal") is a song from the Bacalao Men's second album "El Nuevo Bugalu".

It tells the story of Dorangel Vargas, a skinny, softly-spoken tramp with a beard who shocked the country in February 1999 when he was arrested for killing and eating vagrants in the Andean city of San Cristobal, Tachira State.

After his arrest, the self-confessed "people-eater" (comegente) served up a slew of juicy revelations about his cannibal exploits, like a shy contestant on Masterchef listing his favourite recipes.

Vargas, 42 years old at the time, calmly described to reporters how he killed and cut up his victims and then cooked the parts he liked best in his makeshift shack under a bridge over the Rio Torbes, between San Cristobal and Tariba.

"Sure I eat people," he told reporters, claiming he had eaten ten people in the two years before his capture.

Explaining how he would target vagrants or council workers sent to clear the scrub near his shack, he said he would sneak up on them and spear or club them with a metal pipe.

He even offered advice on how to marinate the meat and which parts of the body to avoid.

"Anyone can eat human flesh," he added, "but you have to wash and garnish it well to avoid diseases."

A fussy eater, he avoided the hands, feet and testicles of his victims because they gave him indigestion and said he would never eat a woman, "because they don't mess with anyone".

"I only eat the parts with muscles, particularly thighs and calves which are my favourite," he told a local newspaper, saying he liked eating skinny men best.

"I make a very tasty stew with the tongue and I use the eyes to make a nutritious and healthy soup," he added.

Dorangel said he had no regrets about the killings. Instead, like some modern Sweeney Todd, he boasted how he had shared his grisly meals with others who "praised the fillings in my empanadas" - although his guests were clearly unaware of the true contents of his fried maize-dough turnovers.

Only two victims were identified by police from the hands and feet found near Dorangel's shack but the bones and skull fragments of six other victims were eventually discovered, confirming "El Comegente" as Venezuela's first proven serial killer.

The bizarre revelations about his eating habits led local newspapers to dub him "the Hannibal Lecter of the Andes".

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