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Hundreds of Children Found at Vermin-Infested Shelter in Mexico
July 17th, 2014
04:43 AM ET

Hundreds of Children Found at Vermin-Infested Shelter in Mexico

Mexican authorities are still unraveling the horrors allegedly committed on nearly 500 children sheltered at "La Gran Familia" refuge in the southwestern state of Michoacan.

At The Big Family shelter, scores of children - some as young as two months old - were denied visits from their parents, virtually imprisoned in vermin-infested quarters and routinely subjected to physical, psychological and sexual abuse, authorities said.

Authorities raided the sprawling, squalid shelter in the city of Zamora Tuesday after a number of parents complained about being denied access to their children, Mexican Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karan told reporters.

"We found close to 500 children in truly deplorable conditions," Murillo said.

Victims told investigators that children were routinely forced to beg for money on the streets, eat unsanitary food and sleep on hard floors crawling with rats and roaches, Murillo said. It was not clear from Mexican authorities how so many children - along with some adults - came to be at the shelter.

The operator of the shelter, Rosa del Carmen Verduzco, was detained along with eight of her employees, authorities said. They were being questioned in connection with abuse and other charges.

"This is truly upsetting," Michoacan governor Salvador Jara Guerrero told reporters. "We did not expect to find such conditions... We must not allow these things to occur - not in Michoacan, not in the republic."

MORE on CNN.com

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Filed under: Children • Mexico
May 31st, 2013
07:02 AM ET

AZ mom is freed from Mexican prison – Rafael Romo has more on her release

A Mexican judge ordered the release of Arizona woman Yanira Maldonado from prison late Thursday. Maldonado was arrested last Wednesday as she and her husband, Gary, were on their way back to Arizona. She was accused of attempting to smuggle 12 pounds of marijuana that Mexican authorities alleged they had found under her bus seat.

Maldonado reunited with her husband with an emotional bearhug after her release and speaks live to the press. Rafeal Romo has more on the story on "Early Start" this morning.

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Filed under: Crime • International law • Law • Law enforcement • Mexico
May 30th, 2013
07:17 AM ET

Arizona mom speaks out from jail about arrest on drug smuggling charges in Mexico – CNN’s Rafael Romo reports

The American woman accused of trying to smuggle 12 pounds of marijuana is speaking out from inside a Mexican jail. The soldiers who arrested Yanira Maldonado were supposed to appear in court Wednesday but defense attorneys say they never showed up. Hearings in the case will resume tomorrow.

-CNN’s Rafael Romo is the first reporter to interview Maldonado in jail and has the latest from Nogales, Mexico.

READ MORE: Arizona mom turns to scripture to survive in Mexican jail


Filed under: Crime • Drugs • Mexico