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She was the daughter of Gonzalo de los Rios y Encio y Catalina Lisperguer, she was born around 1604. She had a sister, Agueda, and since her childhood she had the benefits of coming from an aristocratic family highly recognized by the society of that time; however, her education was very little, just like for the majority of women of her time, and she didn’t even know how to read or write.

Her name was inscribed in history due to a series of horrible crimes that have been ascribed to her.

The first of them was the poisoning and death of her father, in 1622. The Quintrala got away from justice due to the great influence that her family had among the authorities at the time. At that time, she was only 18 years old. Later, she was involved in dubious affairs once again, such as the murder of a man from the Order of Malta and the direct threat to Juan de la Fuente Loarte with a knife, who was a vicar of the diocese of Santiago.

After these events, her grandmother on her father’s side, decided to marry her. For this purpose, she arranged her marriage with Alonso Campofrio Carvajal, a Spanish soldier of little influence and fortune, who would ascend thanks to the power of her wife’s family. The marriage ceremony was done in September of 1626, after which the couple moved to La Ligua, in the state which belonged to De los Rios family. In that place, the Quintrala took control of her properties and directed all the tasks that were being done in the state; however, she didn’t cease to carry out her crimes and abuses, with her husband, Alonso, as her accomplice.

Thus the popular rumors about the cruelty of this woman started, rumors about the torturing and punishing of Indians and slaves who worked in her domains. In addition, it was assured that the Quintrala practiced satanic and black magic rituals, which she learned from her women slaves.

After the death of her husband, in 1650, Catalina de los Rios, assumed total control of her state in La Ligua. She continued committing her abuses, among them were the death of a mulatto child, who was beaten with a stick to death, and who also wasn’t buried for almost two weeks, or the sever of one of the ears of one of her lovers. Thus, she became one of the most feared women of that time, a woman who couldn’t even be restrained by the local priest.

Only in 1660, the Royal Audience set its attention in the accusations surrounding the Quintrala.

In order to avoid any intervention in the investigation, Francisco Millan was asked to secretly elicit the records. After proving the events, the judge Juan de la Peña Salazar apprehended Catalina de los Rios and transferred her to Santiago. The trial began there, where she was accused of around 40 crimes.

Her influences managed her accusations once again, thus being released in acquittal.

When she was sick, she drafted her testament in 1662. It was established that almost all of her fortune would be destined for the rest of her soul, so she left 20 thousand pesos to make 20.000 mass services in her name and another amount to make another thousand mass services after her burial. She also set 500 mass services for the resting of the souls of the Indians that had suffered due to her actions. She also arranged that 6.000 pesos of her fortune would be used in the procession of the Cristo de la Agonía (Christ of Agony), done every may 13th.

She died in 1665 and her body was buried in the temple of the Augustinian monks, dressed with the habit of the saint of the order.

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