The Guardian

Colombians in search of beauty risk death from ‘cowboy’ surgery

Campaigners demand government action on inadequate training and illegal ‘garage clinics’
Colombian TV personality Jessica Cediel has spoken out about her history of cosmetic surgery. Photograph: Christopher Polk/Getty Images

“Mothers, wives, daughters, citizens. Your life is more important than beauty.” That was the message last month from Dilian Francisca Toro, governor of southern Colombia’s Valle del Cauca region, which includes the city of Cali. She made her plea in a televised statement following the death of a young woman after apparently routine plastic surgery.

On 11 September, Gladys Gallego Obando, a 35-year-old beautician, was the ninth woman to die following surgery in the city this year, according to local newspaper El País Cali.

As more and more Colombian women seek to change their bodies through artificial means, cowboy operators are flourishing, corners are being cut and women are dying. This is a boom with a very indeed.

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