“State authorities in Guanajuato took control of the Ciudad de los Niños shelter for homeless children, in the town of Salamanca, after alleged accusations of sexual abuse and diversion of funds”, the state government announced on Thursday July 13.
“The 63 children of the shelter were placed under custody of the System for the Integral Development of the Family (DIF), through the State Attorney’s Office for the Protection of Children and Adolescents”, the government said in a statement.
The statement pointed out that five cases of sexual abuse have been detected in which psychological care is recommended, while the rest of the children in the shelter will be checked by a team of doctors, psychologists and lawyers to determine their actual condition.
The Network for Children’s Rights in Mexico (Red por los Derechos de la Infancia en México: Redim), declared that evidence points out to the manager of the shelter, priest Pedro Gutiérrez, and other staff members as likely responsible for aggression and sexual harassment against some of the children.
“Once again, innocent children are a cause of public outrage as they become defenseless victims of physical, sexual and psychological violence at the Ciudad de los Niños social assistance center,” Redim said in a statement.
The Network for Children’s Rights in Mexico demanded the Attorney General’s Office (PGR) to prosecute the case in order to investigate Gutiérrez and the rest of the shelter personnel on the sexual abuse accusations, as well as possible diversion of funds received from the local government and private donors.