Girl rescued in Argentina after 'years of abuse'

Thursday 17 April 2014 00.01
The malnourished girl was hospitalised after being found in Buenos Aires
The malnourished girl was hospitalised after being found in Buenos Aires

A 15-year-old girl has been rescued in Argentina after being nearly starved and beaten in a garage by an adoptive family for nine years, a court source has said.

Weighing 20kg, the malnourished girl was hospitalised after being found in Buenos Aires.

She said she had been fed only bread and water, and was beaten for eating leftover food thrown to animals in the same space where she was kept, the source said.

Her adoptive parents have been arrested on charges of "reducing a person to slavery, inflicting severe injuries and illegal detention," the source added.

The girl said she had been out of the garage only twice in the past nine years.

The adoptive parents had been given the girl by a family with seven more children, who said they were unable to care for her.

The adoptive parents took her in legally in 2001, had provisional parental rights and were awaiting final adoption.

The adoptive couple practice San La Muerte, a folk cult in which people appeal for favours by making offerings. It was not immediately clear if the suspected abuse was linked to their practices.

The girl's biological sister, who had lost track of her but then found her, reported the suspected abuse to police.