The Forgotten Children of Mexico City

Orphaned children of all ages, some disabled, living in squalor and neglected.
4:06 | 07/30/15

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Transcript for The Forgotten Children of Mexico City
David, thank you. We turn now to an ABC news investigation. Some call them the forgotten children of Mexico City. Think of this number tonight, the list of billionaires in Mexico growing now worth more than $144 billion. Yet in the shadow of all of that money, the children left behind. Tonight after months of investigating, a major development. Reporter: We traveled the streets of Mexico City in search of the children. ABC news getting the blacklist, obtained by disability rights international, facilities the government says are abusive, in bad condition, yet children still dropped off. Authorities put these institutions on a blacklist but they're still open. Yes. Does the public know about the blacklist? No, they don't know. Reporter: They're about to. We walk up to the metal door, behind it an unsettling maize of locked doors, padlocks on nearly every door, every window. Children of all ages, many left by parents, some with disabilities, some from detention centers all under one roof. Commotion outside this battered door, no doorknob, a little girl peering out. She had been locked in the bathroom. Children mopping for fun. Government money keeps this home open even though it's on the government blacklist. Did you find any evidence of doctors? No. Therapists? No. Teachers, no, no psychiatrists, nothing. Reporter: The next stop we're told even worse. Through the front door and right into the standing water. And this is another one of those blacklisted facilities here in Mexico City. As you come up the stairs we've been told there are about 20 children living in this building right now. Many of the rooms are absolute squall Lohr. Reporter: In one room you cannot see the floor. Look at the floor. In the garbage, there's a child. Yeah, there's kids. There are children in the corner there. Reporter: And still a smile from a little girl in red. Why would you bring a child here in the first place? This is standing water. It is total abandonment. Mexico is falling short. These are fundamental human rights violations. Reporter: Lastly, past this green gate, a facility not on that list but getting government money. Children with disabilities inside cages, rows of them locked up. A boy named you'll Julio alone in a corner. Eric Rosenthal, the founder of disability rights international shows me Andres. This is complete neglect. Reporter: All you can hear is the boy clenching his jaw. His clenching jaw is making more noise. He knows we're here. Reporter: We hold this boy's hand and immediately he smiles. We asked the nun, is he okay spending all of these hours alone? He's happy, she tells us. This boy in the wheelchair, the worker trying to shake him back into the seat. We noticed this by hanging by his hands over a treadmill. But the directors tell us they are clean, fed, they have a place to live. He spends 24 hours a day in this cage? They take him out for one hour. The moment I put my hand in, he grabbed my hands. Yeah, if you sat down and put his arm around him, he would have smiled. People are going to look at these children in cages and think these are images we haven't seen since the 50s. That's because they don't know. Reporter: Authorities telling us there will be an immediate government order. The ministry for social development telling us Mexico City will immediately ban all cages, all restraints, a victory. Their work hardly over. Remembering the children's faces and the toys they showed us. Eager to take a walk with a reporter, past those cages for good. In addition to getting rid of the cages, Mexico City has gre agreed to help start a program to get those children back into

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