La Quintrala, como la apodaban, era famosa por su belleza y por los extraos y crueles actos que acometa contra sus inquilinos. Su nombre qued inscrito en la historia tras una serie de horrendos crmenes que se le han atribuido, el primero de ellos fue nada menos que el envenenamiento y consiguiente muerte de su padre en el ao , pero se libr de la justicia debido a las influencias de su familia con las autoridades de la poca, fue as como se transform en un cono de abuso y opresin durante el perodo colonial chileno. Para su escritura, la autora se inspir en el libro de Benjamn Vicua Mackenna titulada Los Lisperguer y la Quintrala en donde por primera vez se dio a conocer la historia de este mtico personaje de la Colonia en nuestro pas, con una descripcin totalmente subjetiva, un tanto machista, pero Petit si bien se inspir en Mackenna, tom las ideas consabidas acerca del personaje, aunque no est de acuerdo con las caractersticas asignadas al personaje lo segu leyendo ya que me intrig la historia. La Quintrala es una representacin de la leyenda de la transgresin femenina fuera de los modelos patriarcales en una comunidad social y racialmente jerarquizada como lo era la sociedad chilena en ese periodo. Catalina fue simplemente una mujer fuerte, rebelde de las imposiciones de su poca, que conquist un espacio totalmente dado a los hombres transgrediendo en poder patriarcal, ejerci poder pblico y poltico a travs de la dominacin y subordinacin. Aunque el relato no profundice la verdadera historia tras la leyenda aun parece atractivo.
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He held the rank of general in the Royal Army and was a maestre de campo who served as mayor of Santiago in , and He was also the owner of a prosperous farm in Longotoma, which grew sugar cane using the work of black slaves.
He also owned plantations in the valley of La Ligua that grew fruit trees and vineyards, and another farm in Cabildo called El Ingenio. The sisters - who had been accused of poisoning Governor Alonso de Ribera in , out of spite - had as a blood brother Juan Rodulfo de Lisperguer y Flores, killed in the battle of the fort of Boroa in Despite this, she did not receive a good education and was semi-illiterate until her death.
She was mainly cared for by her father and grandmother. The nickname "La Quintrala" is probably a deviation from the diminutive of her given name, Catrala or Catralita. Magdalena Petit also maintains in her book La Quintrala that the nickname comes from the quintral, making a comparison to the color of her hair. Catalina was considered a beauty, with a white complexion, a tall stature, red hair, and intense green eyes. This must have happened when her father was ill in bed in , when she was just 18 years old.
He was the year-old successor to Maule whose family descended from the Counts of Urgell and the House of Barcelona. The priest who married them was Pedro de Figueroa; the legend says that Catalina never forgave him and tried to assassinate him, although according to another version she fell in love with the him and harassed him to the point of exhaustion, but to no avail.
The year after their marriage, Catalina gave birth to her first and only son, Gonzalo, who died when he was 8 or 10 years old. She held him in great regard but never came to love him.
Lovers[ edit ] It is said that in , Catalina invited via a love letter a rich vassal "feudatario" from Santiago to her house. When she had him in her arms, Catalina killed him with knives and blamed the crime on a slave, who was subsequently executed in the Plaza de Armas. Landowner[ edit ] Illustration depicting La Quintrala abusing a pawn. Catalina became a landowner, since she inherited a lot of land from her father in the coastal valley of Longotoma.
This included the farm "El Ingenio" and others of the same size both in Cuyo , beyond the Andes , and in Petorca , and minor properties near the mountains in the suburbs of Santiago the current commune of La Reina. She made her home in the latter estate, where there would still be vines planted by her. Now a wealthy landowner and rancher, Catalina personally directed the activities of the properties, riding her horses through the valleys where she so enjoyed living, since she hated the city.
Her cruelty reached such an extreme that in that same year, her tenants rebelled and fled towards the mountains and neighboring districts. Catalina had them brought back by force by the provisions of the Royal Audience.
In spite of continuous complaints of abuses and cruelties, she did not receive any punishment because she shared her wealth with judges and lawyers, on top of having numerous relatives in important positions.
The commissioner of the Hearing found sufficient evidence of the veracity of the accusations, which were forwarded to the capital. Against Catalina, who had already been accused of both parricide and murder, a trial was begun for the slow and cruel slaughter of her servants.
Catalina was charged with about 40 murders, contributing to her mythical status. The much publicized trial was carried out very slowly due to the influence of her name, her relatives, and her wealth.
As a result, the trial was stalled and Catalina was released. From on she enjoyed, in addition to other things, the Repartimientos in the mountainous Eastern part of Codegua , which had belonged to a congregation of Jesuits.
Three decades later, justice insisted on figuring out the veracity of the accusations, but La Quintrala had already passed away 9 years previously.
In Catalina became a widow, thereby regaining full control over the lands and businesses she shared with her husband Alonso. In January , a new trial began against her for various abuses and crimes committed against her slaves. From then on, her health deteriorated gradually until her death in In her will and testament , dated , Catalina paid for masses at the Church of San Agustin , both for her soul and the souls of her loved ones, as well as those who had lived under her charge.
She also established various chaplaincies, including one established in favor of Cristo de Mayo a sculpture that, according to legend, would have belonged to her and from which she would have been liberated because she looked at it with reproach , and thus maintained annual atonement on May Another smaller sum was given to her relatives and friends, with the rest of her assets auctioned for the benefit of the Augustinians.
Legacy[ edit ] Her figure still lives in Chilean popular culture as the epitome of the perverse and abusive woman, as well as the oppression of Spanish rule. Currently, literature has taken a revisionist stance towards La Quintrala, who was the only Chilean female figure from the 17th century. In two centuries she was villified and there arose a "machismo" bias against a woman with power and preparation.
In her time, there existed a society where women were only destined for supporting roles for men. Articles[ edit ] Piedrabuena Ruiz-Tagle, Daniel. ISSN
La Quintrala: Flaming Redhead Serial Killer Evaded Capture
In fact, she reportedly openly tormented and murdered the slaves on her plantation — they were whipped often and severely, persecuted, and even killed. Officials that came to inquire about this were openly attacked or bribed. The situation became so dire that the slaves revolted, escaping into the mountains to avoid further torment. Once returned they were tried by La Quintrala herself, and received cruel and unusual punishments. In , after numerous and repeated accusations against her cruelty, the Bishop Salcedo requested a full investigation be carried out.
The story of La Quintrala
He held the rank of general in the Royal Army and was a maestre de campo who served as mayor of Santiago in , and He was also the owner of a prosperous farm in Longotoma, which grew sugar cane using the work of black slaves. He also owned plantations in the valley of La Ligua that grew fruit trees and vineyards, and another farm in Cabildo called El Ingenio. The sisters - who had been accused of poisoning Governor Alonso de Ribera in , out of spite - had as a blood brother Juan Rodulfo de Lisperguer y Flores, killed in the battle of the fort of Boroa in Despite this, she did not receive a good education and was semi-illiterate until her death. She was mainly cared for by her father and grandmother.
La Quintrala was born around into a family of rich landowners of Spanish and German origins. She is described by authors as being a fiery and beautiful redhead — her nickname derives from the Quintral, a Patagonian red-flowered mistletoe — and a woman of a lusty and sacrilegious nature. Her beauty and wealth were only as legendary as her cruelty. She is said to have taken a personal hobby in slashing slaves, and indeed, it is recorded that the recurrent death of serfs under her care led to frequent fines issued by the authorities at the time. But her killer instincts were not limited to her subordinates. She also ordered the assassination of a priest, attempted to stab another who had visited her to redeem her soul, and even tortured a lover to death in the cellar of her Santiago home. Largely because of her fortune and connections — she was the sister in law of an illustrious judge — she escaped trial on all 15 documented murder charges made against her.