Malnourished 5-year-old Found In Chains In Mexico May Return To U.S

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Last month US citizen 5-year old boy was found in chains, beaten and starving in Mexico City. He may be reunited with his family in Escondido.

Anthony Casto’s Rescue

On June 27, Mexican police rescued Anthony Castro from the Gabriel Hernandez neighborhood. He was being kept at a relative’s home. The police took him to the hospital for treatment.

The boy’s father Pascual Castro had left him with his aunt and her husband while the father, who wasn’t yet a US citizen, and was finalizing papers in the US. Castro’s sister and husband were arrested by Mexican authorities for the charge of illegal deprivation of liberty and purpose of causing harm. If convicted they can face 60 years of prison.

The father who was afraid because he wasn’t American, went to the office of Republican Darrell Issa (R-Vista) for help.

“Darrell turns to the father, puts his arm out and says, ‘I’m not worried if you are a citizen or not. A little boy — your son — is in a hospital in Mexico. Let’s get him home,’” a district office staff member said, according to Issa spokesman Calvin Moore.

He got on the phone to the State Department and had Anthony’s case pushed to the highest priority.

“We will do everything in our power to get him out of this abusive situation and into a safe and stable environment where he can get the help he so desperately needs. I’m grateful we were able to step in, just in the nick of time,” Issa said in an emailed statement. “This is absolutely heartbreaking.”

The Mexican Consul General in San Diego, Marcela Celorio said that the fate of the boy will depend on the specialized prosecutor for the rights of children in Mexico City. Anthony may be returned to the US or most possibly kept in Mexican foster care.

“We have to take into consideration that we’re talking about human life and, even more, a kid, a child,” Celorio said. “We have to be very responsible with what we do.”

The boy’s mother Dawn Sanderson was not available for a comment. Sanderson and Castro were married for a short time and got divorced. Castro was granted custody of their son after the separation.

Virginia Sanderson (84), Dawn’s grandmother, said that her daughter was on probation and has turned her life around.

“He’s a U.S. citizen,” Sanderson said. “He needs to be brought back here. He needs to be reunited with his mother. We’re doing all we can.”

The mother and grandmother had no idea that Castra had sent Anthony back to Mexico. The grandmother already takes care of her granddaughter’s other children.

“Appalled”

“I’m just appalled,” Sanderson said. “I never thought that the child was in any danger.”

She found out that her grandson was in danger via the news. She said she’s worried about Castro keeping custody of the boy.

Castro said that he had originally left his son with his parents, however he felt the schools in his sister’s area were better. He told press that they sent him a video in February and March and he believed everything was okay.

“I never thought they would treat him like this. It hurts me a lot, my poor son,” he said in Spanish. “I feel terrible about this.”