Police who raided a group home in Mexico have rescued 458 children who were forced to beg for money and suffered sexual abuse while being held against their will in filthy conditions.
Mexico’s top prosecutor, attorney general Jesus Murillo Karam, said police also rescued 138 adults from the Great Family group home in the city of Zamora in the western state of Michoacan.
The group home residents were kept in deplorable conditions, fed rotten food and made to sleep on the floor among rats, ticks and fleas and many of them were never allowed to leave the premises, Mr Murillo Karam told a news conference attended by top national investigators and Michoacan governor Salvador Jara.
“I’m in utter dismay because we weren’t expecting the conditions we found at the group home,” Mr Jara said.
Police have detained the home’s owner, Rosa del Carmen Verduzco, and eight workers.
The investigation began after five parents filed complaints last year with authorities because they were not allowed to see their children at the home, Mr Jara said.
One of the parents was a woman who grew up and gave birth to two children at Great Family, which has been open for 40 years. She was allowed to leave when she was 31 but Verduzco kept the two children, who had been registered under her name.
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