3 More Women Held in Child-Trafficking Case [Associated Press]
Mexican investigators detained three more women in the city of Guadalajara in connection with an apparent child-trafficking ring that aimed to supply babies to Irish couples, authorities said Monday.
Authorities also took a tenth child, a 9-month old boy, into custody, the Jalisco state prosecutor’s office said in a statement.
It said the three women were detained at a ranch in Tonala, a suburb of Guadalajara, while taking care of the baby boy. They told authorities they had been hired as nannies to take care of children in the process of being adopted, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors first opened the investigation last week following the arrest of a 21-year-old woman who was accused by her sister-in-law of trying to sell one of her children and of “renting” the other one.
The woman led authorities to three other women, all in their early 30s, who took part in the “renting” of the babies, and seized nine children, including the 21-year-old woman’s two kids. The other seven were seized from the Irish couples.
“Starting in the beginning of 2011 we started seeing a cluster effect of these types of cases,” said Mary Meinig, director of the state’s Family and Children’s Ombudsman office, who included a section about adoption abuse in her annual report, released last week.
Many of the cases include starvation. “We have so many great adoptive homes in the state, but then we also have these. … I think it’s apparent that it needs to be looked at.”
“We want to jump start this as quickly as possible,” said Denise Revels Robinson, assistant secretary of the state Department of Social and Health Services. “There’s a sense of urgency here. Not crisis, but urgency, because these are very serious issues.”
One adopted child, 13-year-old Hana Williams of Sedro Wooley, died in May from hypothermia and starvation after being left outside as punishment. The Trebilcock’s adopted son, then 13, landed in emergency room in March so severely malnourished that he weighed just 49 pounds, according to court documents.
Officials are concerned at the severity of these cases, the apparent spike in them and that so many seem to involve adopted children. The adoption cases are particularly concerning because screening by the state or private adoption agencies should catch unfit parents before children are placed.
The office of Turkey’s chief prosecutor announced last week that it was bringing charges against the Duchess for “violating the privacy” of five children.
The charge relates to footage shot for ITV’sTonight programme, which appeared to show children in state orphanages tied to their beds and being left in their cots all day without being taken out to be fed.
The Duchess, who disguised herself with a black wig and headscarf to gain access to the Saray orphanage near Ankara, where more than 700 disabled youngsters are housed, claimed it illustrated the appalling conditions orphaned children endured.