Owner of Mexican shelter freed

Comment on this story
iol pic wld Rosa Verduzco AFP Rosa Verduzco has breakfast at the San Jose Hospital, in Zamora, Mexico.

Mexico City - A controversial woman at the centre of an abuse scandal at a children's home in western Mexico has been set free after a preliminary probe cleared her of wrongdoing, a spokesman for the attorney general's office said on Sunday.

Mexican police raided the refuge known as “La Gran Familia” (The Big Family) in the state of Michoacan on Tuesday, finding around 450 children in squalid rooms filled with trash and cockroaches.

Rosa Verduzco, 79, who ran the home, was detained and questioned on suspicion of willful deprivation of liberty and abuse at the vermin-infested home where rape, hunger and beatings were a part of daily life, according to victims.

But late on Saturday, Verduzco, who had been hospitalised, was freed, according to a spokesman for the attorney general's office who said statements from victims suggested she wasn't involved in the abuse.

Six workers at the home have been transferred to a prison in the state of Nayarit, facing criminal accusations, the spokesman added.

A divisive figure, Rosa Verduzco was seen as a saint by many for dedicating her life to raising and helping thousands of children abandoned by their own parents.

But victims told Reuters she presided over years of neglect and abused the child residents, while parents complained she refused to let them take back their children in her care. - Reuters

sign up

Comment Guidelines

  1. Please read our comment guidelines.
  2. Login and register, if you haven’ t already.
  3. Write your comment in the block below and click (Post As)
  4. Has a comment offended you? Hover your mouse over the comment and wait until a small triangle appears on the right-hand side. Click triangle () and select "Flag as inappropriate". Our moderators will take action if need be.

  5. Verified email addresses: All users on Independent Media news sites are now required to have a verified email address before being allowed to comment on articles. You are only required to verify your email address once to have full access to commenting on articles. For more information please read our comment guidelines