• Sun
  • Jul 27, 2014
  • Updated: 3:10pm
NewsWorld
MEXICO

More than 450 children rescued from bug-infested home in Mexico

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 16 July, 2014, 9:47pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 16 July, 2014, 9:50pm

Mexico said it had rescued 458 children from a vermin-infested refuge for abandoned boys and girls, some of whom it believes were sexually abused.

The attorney general's office said police and army troops raided a home known as "La Gran Familia" [The Big Family] in the western city of Zamora on Tuesday, following at least 50 complaints about its operators.

We found that there were 500 children in truly terrible conditions
ATTORNEY GENERAL JESUS MURILLO

Infested by rats, bedbugs and fleas, the refuge was run by Rosa Verduzco, who was now being questioned by authorities, the government said.

The refuge was home to 278 boys, 174 girls and six infants as well as 138 adults aged up to 40, the government said.

"We found that there were around 500 children in truly terrible conditions," Attorney General Jesus Murillo said.

Five complaints by parents that the home would not return their children to them had prompted authorities to act, he added.

The children in the refuge had to beg for money on the streets, eat unsanitary food and sleep on the floor among vermin, officials said. Some suffered sexual abuse, they added.

Babies born in the refuge were registered as children of Verduzco and their parents were given no say in their upbringing, said Tomas Zeron, director of the attorney general's criminal investigation unit.

One desperate parent even offered Verduzco 10,000 pesos (HK$5,980) to return her young daughters, Zeron said.

La Gran Familia was founded in 1947 and looks after children abandoned by troubled parents, the refuge says on its Facebook page. It also provides schooling for the children.

Its funding came from charitable donations, as well as companies and the government, it said.

No one could be reached at the refuge.

Authorities were treating the children for psychological and sexual abuse as well as seeking out suitable homes for the victims, the government said.

Share

For unlimited access to:

SCMP.com SCMP Tablet Edition SCMP Mobile Edition 10-year news archive
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 

Login

SCMP.com Account

or