March aims to raise awareness about child abuse

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SANTA FE (AP) – Parents, advocates and others are expected to descend upon the State Capitol for a march to raise awareness in the fight against child abuse.

Saturday’s procession from the capitol to Santa Fe’s historic plaza comes as New Mexico struggles to reform its child welfare system in the wake of the case of Omaree Varela, a 9-year-old Albuquerque boy who police say was kicked to death by his mother.

Critics say the system didn’t do enough to protect Varela despite previous reports of abuse.

This week, Gov. Susana Martinez announced numerous directives aimed at changing the way child abuse cases are investigated in New Mexico to keep other children from falling through the cracks.

March organizers say they’ve seen an increase in reported abuse cases since the beginning of the year.

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