A jealous and brutal husband in Paraguay has been accused of punching his wife every time she received a "like" on Facebook.
According to police, 21-year-old Adolfina Camelli Ortigoza had been kept as a virtual prisoner in her own home, and subjected to repeated beatings by her 32-year-old husband, the Daily Mail reports.
By the time police were finally alerted to the abuse, her body and face were so disfigured she required extensive reconstructive surgery, as documented in horrifying photos by journalist Matt Roper.
Her attorney, Arnaldo Martinez, explained on Nov. 28 how her husband, Pedro Heriberto Galeano, would become violent when her Facebook photos got favorable attention.
"Her mouth was all broken, she was very damaged, her skin was hanging off because of the blows," explained Martinez. "He controlled the victim's social networking sites, he controlled the messages and photos, and for every 'like' she received from her friends, the woman received a beating because he accused her of having a relationship with them."
The only reason she didn't lose all her teeth, Martinez said, is because "he would put a cloth in her mouth so that she would not scream during the brutal beatings that she suffered daily."
Martinez said that Ortigoza lived in fear of someone liking or otherwise commenting on her Facebook posts. Her friends were unaware that their seemingly innocent responses were causing her to be brutally beaten.
Galeano's father finally reported his son to the police, fearing that his daughter-in-law was going to get killed.
When Galeano was arrested, he was charged with attempted femicide, deprivation of liberty and coercion, and faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison.
Femicide, defined as the murder of women because they are women, is increasingly recognized as a worldwide crime, especially in Latin America.
Adriana Quinones, the Guatemala representative of the United Nations organization UN Women, notes that "among the 25 countries with the highest rates of femicide in the world, 14 are from Latin America and the Caribbean."
Femicide in Latin America first gained widespread attention in the 1990s, she explains, when an unprecedented number of tortured and murdered females began appearing near the Mexican border town of Juarez.
"Gender-related killings are the last act -- a culmination -- in a series of violent acts," she explains. "People often fail to recognize the deadly chain of events that lead to femicide."
"In Latin America, we have a culture of high tolerance towards violence against women and girls," Quinones adds.
With that in mind, UN Women and the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights launched the Latin American Model Protocol for the investigation of gender-related killings of women. Developed in 2014, it is described as "a tool for the police, courts, officials in the justice systems and forensic doctors to properly investigate femicide."
It is now being applied in Ortigoza's case.