Members from a number of government bodies met Monday to discuss weaknesses in the judicial system that allow acid attackers to escape legal penalties for their crimes and methods to that will increase prosecution of acid attacks said Caracol news.
Colombia’s Minister of the Interior Irragori Vallencia said Monday, “This is a grave criminal problem, of coexistence, and we need to do an comprehensive job for all Colombians so that these acts (acid attacks) do not continue to present themselves.”
The Minister of the Interior reportedly met with members from the Prosecutor General’s Office, National Police, the Ministry of Labor, the Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry of Health and Social Protection to search out weaknesses in the current legal system that allow perpetrators of acid attacks to avoid punishment for their crimes, reported El Espectador newspaper.
Vallencia reportedly stressed the need to increase legal penalties for acid attacks.
Last summer a legal initiative was approved by Colombian congress and President Juan Manuel Santos to criminally punish acid attacks. A legal protocol for acid attacks was supposed to be set by January 2 this year but no official action has been taken.
This law will reportedly demand six to ten years of prison time for an acid attack causing permanent deformity. An attack permanently harming the face increases the length of the prison sentence said El Espectador.
The increased public attention to acid attacks comes after two women suffered severe facial and body burns at the hands of acid attackers in separate attacks last Thursday.
According to the Office on Legal Medicine more than 900 women have been attacked with acid since 2004, the highest rate in the world.