Justice for Yenny and Natalia: acid attacks on the rise in Bogotá
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Justice for Yenny and Natalia: acid attacks on the rise in Bogotá

Yenny Marcela Pardo Roa is a popular 28-year-old, a well liked business studies student at Bogotá’s Universidad Corporativa.

Yet this month Yenny became another grim statistic, attacked by an unknown man who threw a bottle of acid in her face before fleeing in a taxi.

The student is still in intensive care in Bogotá’s Simon Bolívar hospital, 26 percent of her body is covered in burns.

Strangely none of her belongings were taken.

“They have changed my daughter’s life, her face and her body. It’s been difficult but she is adapting to the change, with highs and lows.” Consuela Roa, Yenny’s mother told Publimetro.

Yenny prior to her attack. Photo: Pulzo

Yenny prior to her attack.
Photo: Pulzo

Acid attacks continue to rise in Bogotá, often due to jealous ex-partners or some, as in Yenny’s case, without any clear motive.

Around 400 people – among which were victims and families of acid attack victims – took to the streets in the Colombian capital to march in protest against the wave of attacks against women in Bogotá.

Yenny’s attacker has yet to be found, the authorities are offering up to 10 million pesos (around $3000) reward for his whereabouts.

Natalia’s story

Photo: El Espectador

Photo: El Espectador

For 33-year-old Natalia Ponce de Leon, her trial continues.

Natalia was aggressively attacked by Jonathan Vega during March 2014, despite not having had any form of relationship with Vega.

The only exchange between Vega and de Leon was 20-years ago.

“I was live flesh, my face started to swell up. The first thing I lost was my sight.” She testified during her trial.

Natalia is incredibly vocal about her ordeal, having released a book about her experience as she continues to fight for new laws and sentences for criminals committing such offenses.

“I’m outraged. I don’t know how many of these cases we have witnessed in Colombia, but they almost all remain in impunity and the attackers remain free.” she told daily El Espectador.

“This is a living death… It ends your life, and that of your family. In the past 10 years, 900 people have been attacked using acid and 98.8 percent of the crimes have not been resolved.”

Waiting game

As Yenny continues her recovery in Bogotá, Natalia is one step closer to placing Vega behind bars as her trial continues.

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