A woman who fell victim to an evil acid attack has shown her face in public for the first time in almost two years.
Natalia Ponce de Leon, 35, was severely disfigured after a stalker threw a litre of sulphuric acid over her face and body while she was visiting her mother in the Colombian capital Bogota in March 2014.
Ponce underwent 15 operations to reconstruct her face using artificial skin from the Netherlands, and has previously only appeared in public wearing a mask. The sulphuric acid melted the skin on her face, neck, abdomen and legs, and left a quarter of her body burnt in an attack that shocked the South American country.
But on Monday, she bravely laid bare her scars as she announced a new law that punishes
perpetrators of acid attacks with up to 50 years in prison.
Until now most Colombians convicted of acid attacks have received prison sentences of up to six years, and some criminals have been allowed to serve their sentences under house arrest.
The new law defines acid attacks as a specific crime and increases the maximum sentence to 50 years in jail for convicted offenders. It also aims to ensure acid victims receive better state medical care.
“With this law, people will think twice before committing this act,” Ponce de Leon told local media.
The new law was spearheaded by and named after Ponce.