Parents tell horror stories of abuse at shelter

2014-07-17 05:00
(Hector Guerrero, AFP)

(Hector Guerrero, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Mexico City - Parents of some of the 458 children rescued from the festering squalor of a shelter in western Mexico told horror stories on Wednesday after authorities raided it for sexual assaults and other abuses.

"I came to get my daughter back," an emotional Rosalba Karina Contreras told TV network Televisa outside the facility, "La Gran Familia" (The Big Family), in the town of Zamora in Michoacan state.

She said her 13-year-old daughter and other children at the residential shelter had been subjected to "mistreatment, abuse, threats, beatings" by Rosa del Carmen Verduzco, the director and founder of the home.

Another mother, Bertha Saucedo, told Foro TV the facility had effectively kidnapped her daughter, who has Down's syndrome.

"They took my daughter away from me when she was three months old. When she was six years old I started coming to see her and she [the director] never let me see her because she had Down's syndrome and if I didn't pay her she was never going to give her back," she said.

"I didn't file a complaint because I was afraid they would treat her badly, hit her and take her food away."

Police found 596 people including 138 adults living amid rats and insects when they raided the home on Tuesday after complaints of abuse and kidnapping.

Early investigations indicate the director and her staff inflicted "a variety of physical and psychological abuse" on the residents, said Tomas Zeron de Lucio, an investigator at the attorney general's office.

The children were forced to beg in the street, sleep on the floor and eat unfit food, he told journalists.

Verduzco and eight people who worked for her have been arrested, officials said.

On Wednesday, the children were being kept at the facility under the care of social workers, Foro TV reported.

La Gran Familia had operated for more than 40 years and housed residents ranging from newborns to adults more than 40 years old.

Authorities did not explain how the adults at the facility had been held against their will.

Michoacan governor Salvador Jara said the raid was prompted by a report of five kidnapped children that was filed more than a year ago.

Read more on:    mexico

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.