Tags: 458 | children | rescued | mexican | village | sex abuse

458 Children Rescued From Mexican Village House; Sex Abuse Feared

Image: 458 Children Rescued From Mexican Village House; Sex Abuse Feared
General view of the interior yard of the shelter 'La Gran Familia' (The big family) during a police raid where 596 people, including 458 children were rescued in Zamora, Michoacan State, Mexico.

Wednesday, 16 Jul 2014 04:05 PM

Authorities have rescued 458 children from a Mexican village home infested with vermin where abandoned boys and girls were believed to be 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, Reuters reported.

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

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The refuge was home to 278 boys, 174 girls, and six infants as well as 138 adults up to age 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 prompted authorities to act, he added.

Officials said the children in the refuge had to beg for money on the streets, eat unsanitary food, and sleep on the floor among vermin. 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 ($770) 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 via a telephone number on the Facebook page.

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

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Authorities have rescued 458 children from a Mexican village home infested with vermin where abandoned boys and girls were believed to be sexually abused.
458, children, rescued, mexican, village, sex abuse
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2014-05-16
Wednesday, 16 Jul 2014 04:05 PM
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