Brazilian police rescue two-month-old boy who was ‘pawned by his mother to pay $58 in debt to drug dealers’
- Police officers in Mato Grosso, Brazil, have recovered a two-month-old boy allegedly left in a drug den by his mother as a promise to pay $58 to drug dealers
- The baby was taken from the home on Tuesday after local child protection services received an anonymous call and alerted the police
- VG Noticias learned that the boy had been in the care of two women living in the residence for 15 days
- Military police said the house was under investigation for drug trafficking in the past
- The women told the lead researcher that they had never received any money from the mother, who bought drugs at another house nearby.
- The mother has temporarily lost custody of her baby. She has two other children who are in the care of a family that is not related to her and who are in a shelter
Authorities rescued a two-month-old boy from a neighborhood drug den in western central Brazil after a mother of five allegedly pawned him a $58 drug debt.
Military police were sent to the house in Pontes e Lacerda, Mato Grosso on Tuesday, after the Guardian Councilship received an anonymous call, according to Brazil’s online news outlet. G1.
Online news portal VG News reported that the mother appeared in court on Thursday and denied leaving her boy over a drug-related debt.
It is alleged that the woman left her son in the care of two women living in the residence for 15 days as a promise to repay the money she owed to one of the local drug dealers.
However, the women told lead researcher Bruna Laet that the mother had not bought or used drugs at home. They claimed she had gone to another place to buy it.
Lieutenant Colonel Sandro Barbosa walks out of an alleged drug den in Mato Grosso, Brazil, on Tuesday with a two-month-old boy who was allegedly pawned by his mother as a promise to pay for a $58 drug debt. Police say the mother is a known drug user. A judge has temporarily revoked custody of the boy from the mother, who has two other children. The eldest child is in the care of a family that is not related to her. Her middle child, a daughter, is currently in a shelter
Lieutenant Colonel Sandro Barbosa hands the baby over to a city official moments after taking him out of the house his mother had left him in as a promise to pay a drug debt
A cell phone video of the rescue shows Barbosa carrying the boy out of the house and placing him in the arms of a female officer.
“What we discovered at the time of the incident is that the mother, desperate with the drug debt, which amounted to no more than $58, left the child as a form of payment guarantee and the people in the house accepted it,” said Lt. Colonel Sandro Barbosa.
‘But you cannot measure the value of a human life.’
The women who were with the boy were not arrested because they told authorities they were not taking the child as a promise of future payment.
A police officer in Pontes e Lacerda, Brazil, holds two-month-old baby, who was allegedly left in a drug den as a promise to pay a drug debt
However, their home had been searched for drug trafficking in the past.
“They claim that they know the mother of the child and that they are only doing a caring favor, but we know that this is not the reality,” Barbosa said. “If the mother didn’t show up to pay the debt, they’d keep the child.”
Barbosa revealed that the child’s mother, whose name was withheld, “has been a known addict in town for over 10 years.”
A judge for the 2nd Court of Pontes e Lacerda has temporarily revoked custody of the mother.
The woman’s first child died at the age of two, according to the Mato Gross prosecutor’s office. The eldest child is in the care of a family that is not related to her. Her daughter is currently in a shelter.
The two-month-old baby spent most of his time with his ailing maternal grandmother, who suffers from heart problems and cannot take care of him.
Sources told VG Noticias that the mother was on drug addiction treatment at a local clinic and was discharged on March 22.