Rescued Out of Slavery: Indigenous Workers Removed from Agricultural Sites in Mexico
Rick Kearns - Indian Country Today
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May 3, 2015

Tarahumara ladies selling baskets, blankets, beads, and oranges. In March 200 Tarahumara men, women and children were rescued from modern day slavery by the Mexican authorities. (wikimedia)

Last month, Mexican authorities rescued 200 Tarahumara men, women and children from an agricultural work camp in northwestern Mexico where they were held against their will and subjected to inhuman working and living conditions.

Federal legislators then voted to push the country’s attorney general and human rights commission to conduct thorough investigations into this case and to fine those responsible for the violations, as well as to create policies to prevent these types of abuses in the future.

On March 16 Secretary of Labor and Social Oversight Alfonso Navarrete announced that authorities had rescued the 200 Tarahumara people from two work sites belonging to the El Cerezo Rural Production Society Limited in the southern part of Baja California.

“More than 200 Tarahumara indigenous people were tricked and transported 560 miles away from their communities into shameful, illegal conditions for miserable salaries,” Navarrete said.

“They were found to be housed…under unhealthy conditions, in tiny shacks put together with sticks, black plastic bags, belts, sacks and cardboard amidst puddles of mud and garbage, with  completely contaminated bathrooms and little access to water. There were found approximately 15 children, from infants to adolescents of less than 14 years old,” he added.

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