Mexico said on Tuesday it had rescued 458 children from a vermin-infested refuge for abandoned boys and girls, some of whom it believes were sexually abused.
The attorney general's office said police and army troops raided a home known as "La Gran Familia" (The Big Family) in the western city of Zamora on Tuesday, following at least 50 complaints about its operators.
Five complaints by parents that the home would not return their children to them prompted authorities to act, he added.
The children in the refuge had to beg for money on the streets, eat unsanitary food and sleep on the floor among vermin, officials said. Some suffered sexual abuse, they added... [emphasis mine - JR]
And in our country:
FBI Director James Comey announced Monday the arrests of 281 suspected pimps and the rescue of 168 children in a weeklong sting operation aimed at sex trafficking, organized crime’s fastest-growing enterprise.
Many of the rescued children never were reported as missing, despite being under the supervision of the U.S. child welfare system.
The FBI effort has rescued more than 3,600 children overall and has resulted in more than 1,450 felony convictions and the seizure of more than $3.1 million in cash and property.
Most of the rescued children are U.S. citizens, as are those arrested, Mr. Comey said, indicating that the problem is not smuggling from abroad... [emphasis mine - JR]
Personally, I'm in favor of taking people who do this sort of thing and hanging them by the neck until their bodies rot off the gallows. Unfortunately, I seem to be in the minority.
But what about The Authorities? In the Mexican case, it took FIVE complaints before The Authorities would look into this alleged hellhole. I appreciate that Mexico isn't a rich country, but surely SOMEBODY there is responsible for inspecting child shelters and orphanages. Where were they? What were they doing? Other than their job, that is.
And what about here? Thousands - THOUSANDS - of children who just sort of disappeared from the child welfare system to become sex slaves. Didn't SOMEBODY notice that these children had gone missing?
These cases, it seems to me, don't point towards systems that are swamped, that are poor, that are overburdened (ah, the cry of government officials everywhere when things go pear-shaped: "We haven't got the funding!"). Rather, it points to apathy and criminal negligence by people who get paid to see to it that this sort of thing doesn't happen. Thank God somebody finally did something, but for how many children was it too little, too late?
And, finally, what about the parents? Are we to believe that all of these children were orphans, completely alone in the world? Didn't their mothers and fathers have even the slightest spark of parental feeling, enough to pick up the phone to the police and - even anonymously - report their child as missing?
We need A LOT of rope.