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Over 500 children found at vermin-infested shelter in Mexico

July 31, 2014 · 


Over 500 children found at vermin-infested shelter in Mexico


Mexican Attorney General Jesus Murillo (left) and Michoacan Gov. Salvador Jara speak during a press conference Tuesday in Mexico City to discuss the rescue of more than 500 children from a shelter in the city of Zamora. Photo EFE













Army troops and the Federal Police rescued more than 500 children who were living in squalid conditions and were being sexually abused at a children’s shelter in the western Mexican state of Michoacan, officials said.

Authorities responding to complaints went to the La Gran Familia children’s home in the city of Zamora, Mexican Attorney General Jesus Murillo said in a press conference.

The owner, Rosa del Carmen Verduzco Verduzco, and eight employees were arrested, AG’s office criminal investigations chief Tomas Zeron said.

The vermin-infested shelter, which opened 40 years ago, housed 600 people, including newborn babies, children and adults older than 40 who slept on the floor, begged in the streets and were subjected to sexual abuse.

Eyewitnesses and victims reported physical and psychological abuse committed by Verduzco and some of the employees, Zeron said.

The raid was ordered after more than 50 complaints were filed against Verduzco for holding people against their will.

The children were forced to beg in the streets, eat unsanitary food, sleep on the floor among bugs and endure sexual abuse, Zeron said, citing eyewitness accounts.

The babies born at the shelter were registered as Verduzco’s children and the biological parents were kept away with the promise that they would be allowed to leave once they were adults.

Rescue teams had to clean up the place, which was infested with rats and bedbugs, the officials said.

Michoacan Gov. Salvador Jara said that when he took office in late June he had been informed about the complaints against the shelter and the failed attempts by non-governmental organizations and lawmakers to visit the facility.

“We did not expect to find people living in such terrible conditions there,” Jara said. EFE


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