Miguel Barreto
Birth name Miguel Barreto Arroyo
Occupation Farm labourer

October 5, 1991
Hatillo, Puerto Rico

Cause of death Killed
Attack information
Date October 5, 1991
Location(s) Hatillo, Puerto Rico
Killed 6
Injured 2
Weapon(s) Machete

Miguel Barreto Arroyo was a Puerto Rican dairy farm labourer who killed six people and wounded two others in Hatillo, Puerto Rico on October 5, 1991.[1][2][3][4][5]

Two weeks prior to the murders Barreto and his brother Emilio moved to the Corcovado neighbourhood, where they occupied a little hut on the land of Tomasa Pagan Lopez, who according to some sources was their aunt, and lived mostly on food provided by their neighbours.[6] Barreto's relationship with Pagan, whom he called "la bruja" (the witch), was apparently troubled.

According to differing reports Barreto armed himself with a 20-inch machete either around 8:30 p.m., or around 10 p.m. on October 5, and fatally wounded his brother inside their home. He died on his way to hospital. Barretto then went to the nearby house of Tomasa Pagan Lopez and injured her so severly that she died of her wounds the next morning in hospital.

Subsequently Barreto made his way to the adjacent house of Gloria Arroyo Vazquez, where he killed her, as well as her children Glendsla and Dardiel. Alerted by their screams Arroyo's mother Ramona Vazquez Millet rushed from her home to her daughter's, where she was caught by Barreto on the patio, who hacked her in the neck, almost decapitating her. Barreto also attacked the woman's husband Benito Arroyo Pagan, who wanted to help his wife, and seriously injured him by hacking him in the head, chest, and right foot, before retreating into the Arroyo-house and locking himself inside.

Neighbours eventually called Gloria Arroyo's husband Darwin Melendez Delgado, who rushed back home, smashed in the door, and wrested the machete from Barreto. After a struggle, in which he was slightly injured, he killed the murderer with his own weapon.

According to his neighbours Barreto, who was said to be in his fifties, showed some peculiar behaviour, and rarely left his house. He was described as a paranoid man, who thought that the people didn't want him in the neighbourhood, or even intended to kill him. On the wall of his home police found a sheet of paper with many names of people whom he considered nasty, because they had harmed him, among them Tomasa Pagan Lopez and Darwin Melendez Delgado.[7][8][9]


  • Emilio Barreto, 62, his brother
  • Tomasa Pagan Lopez, 68
  • Gloria Arroyo Vazquez, 28
  • Glendsla Melendez Arroyo, 11, child of Gloria Arroyo
  • Dardiel Melendez Arroyo, 2, child of Gloria Arroyo
  • Ramona Vazquez Millet, 62, mother of Gloria Arroyo

Those wounded were Darwin Melendez Delgado, 38, and Benito Arroyo Pagan, 64.


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