A bogus plastic surgeon carried out hundreds of botched operations on her kitchen table where she cut open her patients using kitchen scissors and anaesthetised them with illegal ecstasy pills.
Kastia Valdez, 34, is nicknamed the ‘Boob Job Butcher’ after she left her victims horribly disfigured and with scars after doing facelifts, boob jobs and liposuction for as £80.
Some of her victims have come forward to tell MailOnline how their lives have been irreversibly affected after they were tempted to go under the scissors, lured by cheap prices of the back street ‘surgeon’.
‘She turned me into a monster,’ said Bertha Hernandez, who now refuses to leave her home after a rushed facelift left her ‘looking like a grotesque Picasso portrait’.
‘She told me she was a doctor and injected my face with industrial silicone sealant rather than Botox.’
Bertha, 55, told MailOnline: ‘My facial muscles began to rot away and it’s still extremely painful to eat food, drink water or smile.
‘It has taken over a year of daily massages and rectifying surgery to reach a point where I don’t flinch when I see myself in the mirror.
‘I was beautiful before, and my stupidity in being conned has turned me into something out of a horror film.’
Another victim, Dora Vasquez, 52, was serious injured when a £750 breast implant operation punctured her lung and left her with permanent nerve damage in her left arm.
In August she was taken to the home of Maria Josefina Hernandez in the slums of San Francisco del Rincon, Mexico, where Kastia Valdez conducts clandestine operations in her spare room.
MailOnline spoke to Hernandez’s son, who confirmed that clandestine surgical practices are carried out there.
Dora arrived to find three more patients recovering on the hard floor of the kitchen. She was asked to lie on the shack’s dining table where she was given a local anaesthetic and given a purple ecstasy pill to place under her tongue.
‘I quickly began to feel both numb and euphoric,’ Dora told MailOnline. ‘That’s when Kastia began the surgery.’
Incisions were made to Dora’s chest using a pair of butcher’s scissors and implants were inserted beneath her pectoral muscles. She later discovered the silicone prostheses she given were second hand from a patient who had undergone surgery six hours before.
‘It was hellish,’ Dora told MailOnline. ‘The surgery took five hours and I was conscious the whole time.
‘When I left, I began to feel extremely sick and had terrible difficulty breathing.’
After five days of agony, she sought advice from qualified cosmetic surgeon, Dr Gerardo Casillas.
‘We had seen many patients who arrived showing terrible scars and deformities as a result of this surgeon,’ said Dr Casillas. ‘We had our suspicions that Kastia Valdez was not a qualified surgeon, but when we saw what she had done to Dora we knew for sure.’
Kastia Margarita Valdez Almonte, originally from Dominican Republic, allegedly used a stolen medical licence to convince Dora and other victims of her qualifications.
‘Not even a person with the most rudimentary medical knowledge would have done what we saw,’ added Dr Casillas.
‘The scammer had cut through multiple layers of pectoral muscle, perforating her lung and causing permanent nerve damage,’ he said. ‘We had to reconstruct her entire chest in order to save her life.’
‘I was on life support for three days,’ Dora said. ‘I very nearly died.’
Dora filed a police complaint against Valdez in November for offering medical services with falsified documents.
When questioned by the authorities Valdez denied being a plastic surgeon and claimed another woman had been offering cut-price operations to the local community.
The case remains an open investigation with the Guanajuato state attorney.
‘She laughs at me when I call her,’ said Dora. ‘She says: you’ll never bring me down.’
MailOnline contacted Valdez, at her home in Leon, Guanajuato, but she refused to comment on the allegations.
‘I’m not an actress, nor am I interested in commenting on lies,’ she wrote in a text message.
Although Valdez has allegedly operated on over 300 people in San Francisco del Rincon, Dora Vasquez is the only victim to file a police complaint against her.
She was arrested by police and is currently on bail.
One patient, who asked to remain anonymous, was left horrifically scarred by a tummy tuck, but still refuses to involve the Mexican authorities.
‘My scars cause me so much embarrassment that I can’t go the beach any longer,’ she told MailOnline. ‘I’m in permanent pain, both mentally and physically, but I blame myself for allowing this to happen.’
She went on: ‘The evidence that it was a bad idea was there from the start. The photocopied medical licence, Kastia’s claims that her cut-price surgeries were sponsored by the Russian government, the unsanitary conditions she works in.
‘I wanted the procedure so much that I convinced myself that everything was fine when it clearly wasn’t.’
Another anonymous patient, who was bedbound for 15 days after nearly dying of blood poisoning following Kastia’s liposuction procedure, says she wants simply to forget what happened to her.
‘I see the permanent effects on other victims and I think I got off lightly,’ she said.
‘I don’t want my case to be public because I’m the one who will look ridiculous.’
When Valdez arrived in San Francisco del Rincon, she established her practice in the Aliza beauty salon in the centre of town with the permission of owner Celia Cervantes, who encouraged many of her friends to undergo Kastia’s procedures.
‘All her apparatus was portable and loaded and unloaded from a pickup truck before each procedure,’ said Celia, who allowed her own daughters to go under the Kastia’s knife. ‘But when I saw the terrible things she had done to her patients I had to ask her to leave.
‘The presence of that charlatan here has destroyed the good name of my business.’
San Francisco del Rincon is an affluent town of over 100,000 residents in the central Mexican state of Guanajuato.
An important industrial town in the production of footwear for major sporting brands including Nike and Reebok, extra disposable income has translated itself into a culture of cosmetic surgery amongst local women.
‘It’s perfectly normal for a girl to receive breast implants as a 15th birthday present,’ said Estefania Castro, 27, a local woman who has undergone three separate breast enhancement operations.
‘Guanajuato state attracts medical tourism from across North America and the region is filled with international cosmetic surgeons from Venezuela, Colombia, Cuba and the Dominican Republic.
‘Kastia asks no questions, charges rock-bottom prices and offers any surgical procedure you want, from circumcisions to facelifts.
‘It’s no wonder she has been able to lure so many unsuspecting women onto her operating table.’
‘She was seen as a goddess when she first arrived,’ said Margarita Fernandez, a local beauty therapist who has handled much of the fallout from Kastia’s victims. ‘No medical tests, extremely cheap and no questions asked.
‘These women knew the risks they were taking from the start.’
‘I have little hope that she’ll ever be brought to justice,’ said Dr Casillas.
‘She would never be able to get away with this in the United States or Europe, but given that we’re in Mexico and any problem can be made to go away if you throw enough money at it, she’ll continue to harm innocent and gullible women for the foreseeable future.
‘All we can do is warn people not to be fooled by the false promises of cheap, hack-job surgery. If you want good results you either have to work hard or pay top dollar.
‘It’s like the expression we have here: cheap ends up expensive.’