The truth is life is too hard

And there’s Colombia, where acid attacks on women are the hot new fad.

It’s heartbreaking.

Every glance at a mirror transports Consuelo Cordoba to the moment when her boyfriend doused her with a skin-searing acid that obliterated her face, leaving her with gruesome wounds that will never heal.

The chemical burned off an ear, melted an eye, ate through her lower face and ruined her teeth. She now wears a skin-tight elastic mask, breathes through a straw-like tube that protrudes from her nose and walks the streets looking “like a monster,” as she put it.

“I would like to go to sleep today and not wake up tomorrow,” she said. “The truth is life is too hard and I am alone.”

What could she possibly have done to deserve that?

The precise reason for the spike here — and not in, say, neighboring Peru — is not known. But women’s rights advocates in Colombia talk about an epidemic of violence against women, from spouse-battering cases so extreme that they make the nightly news to reports of illegal armed groups using rape as a weapon in a murky rural conflict.

“Sometimes in the West we make fast judgments and say, ‘Look how terrible they treat women in the East,’ and we don’t look first at ourselves,” said Monica Roa, the Bogota-based international programs director of Women’s Link Worldwide, a rights group. “The violence here may be different, but it emanates from the same place. This is a culture where machismo reigns, where men do what they want to do.”

H/t Simon Davis.



  1. steve84 says

    Those nose tube things suck. I had those when I got my nose septum fixed and it was bad enough for two days or so they were in. Can’t imagine breathing like all the time

  2. says

    This is so horrific words are not adequate to convey the utter dismay and disgust I am feeling.

    “groups using rape as a weapon in a murky rural conflict.”

    And this is precisely why rape as punishment should never be a joke! The same type of people using it against these women on the outside would be using it against men in prison.

  3. Brad says

    I still can’t believe throwing acid on people is a thing. What the hell. Columbia needs a Dan Savage.

  4. Maude LL says

    What’s worse is the comments below the article. The amount of “what about the menz” comments followed by accusations of female privilege/”misandry” is troubling. You know, an article talking about hate crimes towards women is anti-men because men get attacked too. Totally miss the point that the women were targeted for their gender only. I guess to these people, it’s racist to talk about slavery in America in terms of African-Americans. The young white Christian man is the most oppressed being in the world. [sarcasm] Blah.
    Seriously though, I can’t figure it out: do they actually believe that or are they just trying to sound “edgy” or “ignorant”?

  5. Maude LL says

    [clarification: by “what’s worse I was not referring to the burnings of course. I’m not sure it was referring to what, bottom line is that ambient misogyny seems to be growing. Is it just me thinking this?]

  6. Tony •King of the Hellmouth• says

    This is absolutely intolerable!
    It makes me sick to my stomach that some depraved individual would pay a child to throw acid in a young woman’s face simply because she broke up with him.
    How are these people being raised if they think it is acceptable to do such a vile thing?

  7. David Hart says

    There are two solutions to this problem. One is to talk them out of the culture of machismo that makes them feel entitled to do this. The other is to plough our resources into stem cell research and related medical technologies until we can fully reconstruct an acid-damaged face, with the result that doing this to someone will ‘only’ result in temporary pain, expense and inconvenience, rather than lifelong disfigurement.

    The depressing thing is, I actually don’t know which of these is more likely to happen first in the real world.

  8. Amy Clare says

    MaudeLL, I find it disturbing too, that there are men whose first reaction to a heartbreaking story like this would not be compassion and empathy towards the victims, but feeling put out because they are not the ones getting the attention. It takes a particular kind of nasty, immature personality to feel personally insulted by an article describing horrific violence done to another human.

  9. natashayar-routh says

    Amy Clare,

    The same sort of nasty immature personality that would do something that horrible in the first place. The difference is only in a matter of degree.

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