City officials said the authorities had fined a parent with little over $200 for having their children working and panhandling on the streets.

The city announced weeks ago a special operation in order to detect those parents who take their children to the streets for work.

According to media reports, the fines are set by municipal judges depending on the case.

La Crónica newspaper reported that the first fine was given to a parent who was found with five children less than 12 years of age. The minors were taken by the Family Development Agency for protection and transported to city shelters.

According to the newspaper adults were unable to produce documents to immediately verify parenthood.

The agency said none of the children were attending school. However, no mistreatment was detected in the children.

Children were returned to their parents once the fine was paid and parenthood was confirmed. The agency said the goal is not to separate families, but promote cohesion between parents and children.

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