[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…)