After five parents filed complaints, stating they were not allowed to see their children who were living in a refuge, and another 50 complaints were made against it’s operators, an investigation was launched into the Great Family Group Home in Zamora, Mexico.
On entering the home, which first opened in 1947, federal and state police found 458 children and 138 adults who were being held against their will. The living conditions were reportedly truly horrific – squalid, overcrowded and infested with rats, which the children and adults were made to sleep amongst on the floor, alongside ticks and fleas. Many were not even allowed to leave the premises, whilst those who were, were only allowed because they were forced to beg for money.
There were 278 boys, 174 girls and 6 infants; many of whom allegedly also suffered from sexual abuse whilst living at the refuge. It’s owner Rosa Verduzco, and several other staff have all been arrested and are currently being questioned by police.
The group Facebook page claims that it is a place where children will be cared for and provided with schooling, and that funding comes from charitable organisations, a range of companies and the government. However, after staying there the children are now being treated for psychological and sexual abuse, and police are attempting to find new homes for the victims.
One woman stated she had asked to leave at the age of 18 but was refused. At the age of 31, she was finally released from confinement however was not allowed to take her children with her. She had delivered two babies whilst staying at the group, however all newborns were registered as children of Verduzco, and parents were given no say as to how their child was raised.
Abuse and criminal injury do not always go detected. It has been one year since the complaints about the Great Family group home were filed, and only now has the mistreatment been discovered and the victims rescued. Anyone who has suffered at the hands of another is urged to come forward; to put an end to their traumas and also claim the compensation they deserve.