Published February 25, 2010
Two teenage girls snatched another teenager's unborn baby from her womb in a crude cesarean operation, Colombian newspaper El Tiempo reported Thursday.
The two unnamed girls, aged 14 and 16, assaulted Maria Amparo Rivera Girata, 18, in the small town of Duitama, northern Colombia, on Monday.
According to El Tiempo, the pair held a knife to Girata's throat and tied her up, before cutting her uterus open and removing the infant.
Girata, who was seven months pregnant, was later found still conscious with severe abdomen injuries.
The two girls were arrested with the baby, who survived the ordeal, soon after.
The 16-year-old suspect reportedly miscarried during a previous pregnancy and plotted to steal Girata's infant to replace her own, in order to stop her boyfriend finding out.
Ernesto Giraldo, head of Boyaca hospital's intensive care unit, told El Tiempo that it was possible a third person with knowledge of cesarean surgery was present.
"It's remarkable that these two girls could have conducted this surgery without injuring other organs close to the uterus," he said.
"All the more if you bear in mind that the victim was supposedly awake and struggling, trying to prevent them from removing her child."
Girata was in a critical condition Thursday in hospital and her two month premature baby boy is said to be recovering satisfactorily in an incubator.