Tourist raped by machete-wielding gang
A BRITISH woman who was raped by a machete-wielding gang in Bolivia stayed in South America for a year to see them jailed.
Motorcyclist Vasilisa Komarova was left for dead after the three brutes dragged from her tent, beat her and thrust blades against her chest and stomach.
The 37-year-old was robbed and raped and left by a lagoon in Bolivia, where she was on a solo motorcycle tour.
After surviving the sickening attack, Ms Komarova, who gained British citizenship after moving from Moscow to London when she was 20, refused to leave the country as she fought to bring the men to justice.
And last month she came face to face with Jose Gongora, 26, Yery Yumacale, 24, and Fabio Bazan, 30 as they were jailed for a total of 42 years.
Waiving her anonymity, she told the Sunday Mirror: "Because of these men, I know how it feels to be raped, I know how it feels to think you're not going to see the sun rise again.
"I was advised to leave Bolivia as nobody thought I'd win my case.
"But I had to keep fighting. I couldn't live knowing I'd survived but done nothing to stop it happening again."
Reliving the nightmare moment she faced her rapists, she added: "They were in the court and laughing.
"They didn't look into my eyes once. I wanted them to look, I wanted to burn them with my eyes. I was asked to point at each one and say exactly what this person did to me.
"When I pointed, I said 'even now you are not looking into my eyes'."
Ms Komarova's terrifying ordeal happened last June, just 14 months after setting off to ride from Chile to Alaska on a Honda Tornado 250.
She'd covered 10,000km riding through Patagonia and Argentina before crossing into Bolivia.
A local family she stayed with in Santa Rosa, northern Bolivia, suggested she should camp at a lagoon in remote Rurrenabaque.
"Earlier that night, I left my tent to take a photo of the lagoon. Some drunk fisherman called to me to go fishing but I declined and went back to my tent," she told the Mirror.
An hour later Ms Komarova woke to hear the men outside her tent.
"They started to laugh and saying nasty things to me in Spanish, which I understood. Things like, 'Come out bitch, we went to a party, now we're looking for a bitch to have fun with'," she said.
"Then I saw the shadow of machetes. They were half a metre big. The men started shaking the tent, opened it and pulled me out - then it got really nasty.
"They had one machete on my chest, one on my stomach and the third man gripped me by the neck.
"I fought as much as I could. I don't think they're used to women fighting back. They didn't like it and hit me."
This story originally appeared in The Sun and is republished with permission