Twenty five barefoot and under-clothed children were found by police while wandering aimlessly without adult supervision through the streets of the northern Mexican city of Nuevo Laredo, officials said Wednesday.
Eight boys and 17 girls, including a newborn, were found in several different parts of the city just across the border from Laredo, Texas, the DIF family services agency said.
Two of the girls have already been returned to their family members while the remaining 23 minors were placed in a shelter while authorities try to locate their parents, DIF said.
“The corresponding authorities are carrying out the necessary investigation into what led the minors to be (left alone in the streets) and therefore only they can issue a statement in that regard,” the DIF said.
But a DIF spokesperson, speaking on condition of anonymity, suggested that statements from the minors suggest their parents may have been "picked up" by organized crime gangs.
Although State authorities have neither confirmed nor denied this statement, internal reports prepared by local authorities show an anonymous call was received at 3:41 am alerting them to the fact that 7 children, including a newborn, were abandoned on Luis Donaldo Colosio Blvd near the Valle Hermoso subdivision.
A second call received at 6:22 am alerted authorities to the intersection of Carlos Canseco and Medusas in the Reservas Territoriales neighborhood where another 11 children, aged 2-10, who had been abandoned.
A third and final call received at 11:20 led police to the location of the last group of children, who were found crying in an abandoned house in the Madero area.
Sources: horacero.com.mx and EFE