A cruel mum has been arrested for tying straw around her six-year-old daughter’s hands before setting them on fire to teach her a lesson for stealing sweets from a shop.
The incident took place in the area of Alto K’ara K’ara in the city of Cochabamba in the central Bolivian department of the same name after the young victim and her four-year-old sister stole some sweets from a local shop.
According to reports, the mother also wanted to burn her youngest girl's hands but she managed to run away when she saw her sister suffering the shocking punishment.
The injured child's mum and stepdad have since been arrested, although the mum was later released because she is six months pregnant.
The shop owner complained to the children’s parents after spotting them stealing sweets on the CCTV footage.
The 37-year-old mum, whose name has not been revealed, reacted violently and “put her daughters lives at risk”, according to Ruben Dario Lobaton, director of the Cochabamba Special Force Against Violence.
He told the news source Unitel: “The mum admitted that she tied straw to the arms of both girls as a punishment.
“She set the older sister’s hands alight and the youngest girl, realising what was going on, managed to escape.”
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The six-year-old girl was badly injured with second degree burns to her arms and hands, but she is in stable condition in hospital.
She will need to undergo at least four surgeries to recover mobility in her lower arms and hands, as well as other treatments related to the potential psychological damage caused by the horrific incident.
Doctors warned that the recovery process might last several months or even a year because the injuries are up to her elbows and that she could suffer from functional and aesthetic consequences.
Her younger sister is under the care of social workers at the local Children and Adolescent Protection centre.
The mum said that she is sorry and that she only meant to teach the girls a lesson so they would not take other people's belongings.
She vowed: "I am going to get my daughters back, I never thought it would go this far because I only wanted them to be scared, nothing else.
"My commitment is to be with my five kids, working and caring for them."
Both the mum and stepfather have been arrested. A judge ordered that the six-month pregnant mother must wait until she gives birth before standing trial.
The 32-year-old stepfather was arrested for being an accomplice as he witnessed the torture and did nothing to stop the mother.
He has been sent to preventive prison as the investigation continues.
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