The arrest of Arcebio Álvarez, dubbed ‘the Monster of Mariquita’ was in
the news all over the world. The story of his daughter Alba Nidia and
her eight children is long and tragic.
According to the daughter, her abuse began after the death of her mother when she was five years old. Reports on the exact time of the start of the rapes range from when she was seven or ten years old, but certain is that she was 13 when she had her first baby and by the time she was 35 she had endured 14 pregnancies, all conceived by her father, the Monster.
Of the fourteen pregnancies, eight children lived.
According to statements by the daughter, ‘the Monster’ hardly allowed her to leave the house and did not just rape her, but her daughters too.
Local authorities learned about the situation a year ago, but nothing happened.
Nine months ago, Alba Nidia decided to run away. She took her children and went into hiding, trying to stay away from her abusive father.
She found a job in a restaurant where she worked from 5 in the morning until 8 in the evening, making 7,000 pesos a day to support her eight children.
Hugo Parra, a welfare worker decided to step in. He took care of the family, while member of the municipal council Gilma Jiménez started working her way through Colombian bureaucracy to get the family the help it needed and have Arcedio Álvarez arrested.
“I found her in a deplorable situation, living in a house under very bad circumstances. The water was dirty and smelt horrible and Miss Alba Nidia practically was nothing but bones,” Parra told newspaper El Espectador.
Parra helped the family move to the house of Doña Paolo, a lady who allowed the family to stay in her house. “We took her there and started a process of recuperation,” Parra explained.
In the house of Doña Paola the battered Alba Nidia began telling her story about the abuse. Because of the efforts of Gilma Jiménez, the story finally ended up on the desk of Prosecutor General Mario Iguarán, who ordered an immediate investigation and the arrest of Arcedio Álvarez.
Álvarez, “like all monsters” says Parra, claims he is innocent, says he never abused Alba Nidia and denies being her father.
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