The garrote originated from Spain but was
used in their colonies as well.
It was first used in the mediaval torture
chambers, but was "brought to daylight" and
became the official spanish method of
execution in the early 19'th century.
In the early 20'th century most Latin
American countries stopped using this
symbol of Spanish domination, but it was
used in Spain until the 1970's.
Since the beginning of the 19'th century at
least 20 spanish women were executed in
various garrottes. The last female garroting
took place in 1959.
It was never mandatory to go barefoot to the
garrote, but because of the Spanish tradition
of doing penance walking barefoot, executees
sometimes arrived at the scaffold on their
On the scaffold there is a post with a little
seat. As soon as she has taken place and is
strapped to the post, an iron collar is placed
around her neck. The collar is connected to a
mechanism with a big stick-like handle.
When the handle is turned her throat is
Her body stretches in a shudder and her
Normally she turns limp after about a minute.
Her face is now discolored and contorted
after the strangulation. The dead girls tongue
is lolling from her drooling mouth.