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 said on Wednesday.
Weighing 20 kilos, the malnourished girl was hospitalized
after being found in Buenos Aires.
She said she had been fed only bread and water, and was
beaten for eating leftover dog food and monkey kibble 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.
Parents in ‘folk cult’
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.