Playa del Carmen, Q.R. — An abused child was handed back to his mother after police fail to follow protocol.
A boy of eight was seen sleeping outside his home Thursday night when neighbors called authorities.
Police interviewed the boy who said his parents had run him from his house because he failed to sell all the tamales that he was given. The young boy said his mother beat him then put him outside for the night as punishment.
“My mother is very bad, she hits me if I do not bring money to the house, help me,” the boy told authorities.
When questioned, the mother said she did not realize her son was outside sleeping since he has asked to go out and play.
The police officers handed the child back over to his mother.
The Integral Family Development (DIF) arrived but were unable to remove the child from the home since DIF does not have that authority.
“Now we can not take the child. DIF is not an instance of justice so it is the police or the prosecution that must intervene in the first instance and put a child with DIF, and that is what we are doing now,” said Ismael Sauceda Hernández, DIF director.
Sauceda Hernández said a recent visit was made to the home by the delegation of the Office of the Attorney General for the Protection of Children, Adolescents and the Family. Neither the child nor his mother were there.
He explained that “the police did arrive to check the welfare of the child, but did not follow protocol. At that time, they were to put the child in the custody of the Attorney General, but this morning we learn the boy was returned, so we are intervening.”
The DIF official added that a complaint with the Public Prosecutor’s Office has been filed for the alleged violation of the rights of the child to investigate the family and to verify that there is violence and / or child maltreatment.
“It all has to do with protocol,” he said adding that the Attorney General’s Office has already called on the commander to train police to comply with the protocols that have been established to care for abused children.