July 01, 2003

You've Heard of Land for Peace? Well...

Source: Colombian Men Undergo Vasectomies for Land

Fainting won him only a brief reprieve, and the father of three was soon under the knife. After a few delicate snips, Marquelis became the proud -- if sterile -- owner of acres of land under a private Colombian program that gives plots to men in two Caribbean coast towns who undergo vasectomy operations.

"When the moment of truth came, I almost called the whole thing off. But then I decided: I have to do it," he said.

Marquelis is one of 40 men who in the last year and a half have had vasectomies in the humble towns of El Tigre and Rio Cedro on Colombia's Caribbean coast.

In return for undergoing the operations, the men receive plots of land from a 54-year-old movie producer who sees sterilization as a way to reduce poverty. The man, who declined to be identified, pays for the operations.


But Tell's mission in Colombia has been particularly difficult, partly because of the macho attitude and lack of education in this Andean nation of 40 million people. Instead of a family planning tool, a vasectomy here is often seen as more akin to castration.

"They told me that I would turn into a homosexual, that in five years my thing would shrivel and die," said Jose, 28. He was operated on two weeks ago and says he is still heterosexual and his penis is fine.

Posted by Steven Taylor at July 1, 2003 11:02 AM | TrackBack
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