MEXICO CITY – The Casitas del Sur shelter’s attorney was arrested by the Federal Police on organized crime and child trafficking charges, the Mexican Attorney General’s Office said.
Mario Alberto Zuñiga was allegedly involved in the disappearances of children from the Mexico City shelter, the AG’s office said.
Zuñiga asked a court in his role as the shelter’s lawyer to not release a girl to her family or to the proper authorities, the AG’s office said.
A total of 126 children were removed from Casitas del Sur, located in the southern section of Mexico City, following the disappearances of 11 children in 2008.
The events at the shelter became public in January 2009, when the grandmother of a child filed a complaint with authorities.
Zuñiga played a role in the case, the AG’s office said.
The attorney was arrested last Friday as he left a house in Ixmiquilpan, a city in the central state of Hidalgo.
In June, a judge authorized the prosecution of Antonio Domingo Paniagua Escandon, who was extradited from Spain earlier this year, on organized crime and child trafficking charges.
A federal district judge in Tamaulipas, a state in northeastern Mexico, ordered Paniagua, who has dual Mexican and Spanish citizenship, held in prison, officially starting the trial against him.
Paniagua, leader of the Iglesia Cristiana Restaurada, stands accused of being involved in the disappearances of 11 boys and girls who were under the care of Casitas del Sur.
He fled to Spain, whose government extradited him to Mexico on May 31.
The Casitas del Sur shelter was operated by the Iglesia Cristiana Restaurada’s Reintegracion Social social services agency. EFE