Two teenage girls tried to steal another teenager’s unborn child via a crude cesarean operation early Monday morning in a small town in Boyaca, authorities say.
According to news accounts, the two girls, aged 16 and 14, planned the assault on Maria Amparo Rivera Girata, age 18, who was seven months pregnant.
El Tiempo reports that the 16-year-old had previously been pregnant, but had miscarried after suffering a fall. In order to keep her boyfriend from finding out, she plotted to take Girata’s infant to replace her own.
The two girls assaulted Girata in her bed, holding a knife to her throat and tying up her feet with rope. They then cut her uterus open and removed the infant.
Ernesto Giraldo, head of the town’s intensive care unit, said that judging from Girata’s injuries, it is possible that a third person with knowledge of cesarean surgery was present at the scene.
“It’s a bit startling that these two girls could have conducted this surgery without injuring other organs close to the uterus,” he told El Tiempo. “You also have to keep in account that the victim was awake and violently struggling, trying to prevent them from removing her child.”
Gaviria is now in critical condition at the hospital, while the two other girls are in police custody. The premature infant, a boy, is reportedly alive and in good health.
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