One minute Patricia Espitia was strolling down a street in Bogotá, Colombia, holding her 5-year-old daughter’s hand, a picture of all that’s right in the world.
The next, the 27-year-old mother was clutching her burning face, her daughter wailing and the stranger who splashed her with acid tearing off in a getaway car, never to be seen again.
More than a decade and 30 reconstructive surgeries later, the reasons for the attack that seared her face, ears, neck, chest, and arms remain a mystery. Yet when Betty Zapata, a Venezuelan photographer based in London, contacted Ms. Espitia for her project documenting acid attack victims in Colombia, she found a powerful public citizen. Ms. Espitia runs a nonprofit advocacy group for acid attack survivors, giving speeches and making appearances to expose the horrific crime plaguing her country.
Capturing the Strength of Women Who Survived Acid Attacks in Colombia
In these acid attack survivors, Betty Zapata sees inspirational figures who are fighting back for their place in society.