Colombia: Acid Attacks on the Rise
Wednesday, June 6, 2012 3:50 PM

Current trends suggest acid attacks as a form of violence against women are on the rise in Colombia. The Colombian Institute of Legal Medicine registered 55 attacks in 2010 and 42 in 2011. Twenty-two acid attacks were reported this year, but a local acid survivors group says the real number is much higher. The group said that cases are not reported due to threats from perpetrators and fear of further violence.

Colombia is beginning to come to terms with acid attacks as a form of gender-based violence. Under current Colombian legislation, an acid attack is a “personal attack,” punishable with a maximum of 10 years in prison. Survivors of acid attacks say perpetrators are rarely prosecuted. Impunity is one of the main reasons that acid attacks are on the rise. The survivor group plans to fight for better medical care and work opportunities for acid survivors as well as reform of the penal code.  

Compiled from: Wallace, Arturo, Colombia Acid Victims Seek Justice as Attacks Spread, BBC News (30 May 2012).