Posts Tagged ‘slave labor’

Slave labor persists in Brazil 124 years after abolition

Sunday, May 13th, 2012


((Carta Maior photo))

[Translation of an article from Carta Maior for May 13, 2012. See original here.]

By Najla Passos

Brasilia – On the 124th anniversary of the Lei Áurea [the “Golden Law” of May 13, 1888, that abolished slavery in Brazil], the commemoration has lost its splendor. Once again, the Chamber of Deputies has postponed a vote on the Proposta de Emenda Constitucional (PEC – Proposal to Amend the Constitution) No. 438, the so-called Slave Labor PEC, which has been in the works in the house for 11 years. The intense mobilization of civil society, the efforts of the administration and the commitment of the more progressive parliamentarians were not enough. It was the ruralista caucus [legislators representing the interests of large landowners], which holds the majority of votes in the house, which had the last word, following the example of what happened with the new Código Florestal [Forest Code]. (more…)

Dominicans on the defensive after priest says treatment of Haitian workers violates DR-CAFTA

Thursday, April 26th, 2012


((Hartley with two Haitian sugar cane workers.))

[Translations of three articles, one by the Spanish news agency EFE as published in El Nuevo Diario of Santo Domingo on April 24, 2012, two from Listín Diario of Santo Domingo for April 24 and 25. See originals here, here and here. Christopher Hartley is featured in the film “The Price of Sugar;” for more information, go here.]

US investigates priest’s claims of slave labor

Santo Domingo – The United States Department of Labor has opened an investigation in the Dominican Republic into charges by the priest Christopher Hartley, who claims sugar producers are subjecting workers in the industry to conditions of slavery, the US embassy reports. Hartley is currently outside the Dominican Republic but from 1997 to 2006 he worked in the bateyes, workers’ villages set up on sugar plantations, in the San José de los Llanos parish, in the eastern province of San Pedro de Macorís.

The Anglo-Spanish priest has for years made denunciations on the treatment of workers who cut sugar cane, most of whom are Haitian, by large companies.

He has accused them of human trafficking, child labor, racial discrimination and failure to provide health care, as well as of exploitation, fraud and labor abuse. (more…)

Mexico: Farm workers escape from conditions of slavery in Sinaloa

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

[Translation of an article from La Jornada of Mexico City for February 8. See original here.]

By Irene Sánchez

Mazatlán, Sinaloa – Six farm laborers escaped from an encampment in the agricultural fields in Cruz de Elota, where they had been harvesting tomatoes, after being exploited and mistreated, receiving no food or pay. They fled on foot and were rescued by the municipal police, who transported them to a civil protection shelter. The human rights commissioner for the southern region announced they will investigate the case.

The campesinos, natives of San Luis Potosí, were assisted by members of the municipal police on Monday afternoon when they arrived at the toll booth in Mármol, after walking along the Maxipista highway. (more…)

Argentina: Slave labor in the fields

Sunday, January 9th, 2011

Página/12 photo

[Abridged translations of two articles, the first from Página/12 of Buenos Aires for January 2, 2011, the second from La Jornada of Mexico City for January 8, 2011. See original articles here and here.]

Slave labor for an elusive grain dealer

By Horacio Verbitsky

The operation carried out in San Pedro on December 30 illustrates what is possible in uncontrolled markets. Nidera, a transnational grain company that the AFIP [Administración Federal de Ingresos Públicos – Federal Public Revenue Administration] has charged with tax evasion amounting to 260 million pesos, had confined 130 workers from the north, adults and adolescents, who did not know where they were, could not leave, had no electric lights or water and were charged exorbitant prices, deducted from the salaries they had accrued, for food the company sold them, including pasta from the Scioli social services plan. (more…)

Sugar cane: slave labor, environmental damage and violence against the indigenous

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

[Translation of an article from the Brazilian Centro de Midia Independente for February 25, 2010.]

The Brazilian NGO Repórter Brasil has issued a report on the production of sugar in Brazil in 2009.  According to the report, the situation is alarming.  The cases of slave labor, violations of workers’ rights, damage to the environment and the invasion of indigenous lands are numerous. (more…)