Farmworkers freed yesterday in Coahuila. Farmworkers freed yesterday in Coahuila.

Authorities free 81 hired as slave labor

Seven people arrested on Coahuila farm where conditions described as inhumane

A joint operation by federal and state forces has culminated in the rescue of 81 people working in conditions akin to slavery in the state of Coahuila.

The operation at a farm in the Comarca Lagunera region of the state took place after one of the workers managed to escape and warn police.

After a search warrant was issued, the team of officials from the federal Attorney General’s office, the Federal Police, the Executive Commission for Attention to Victims (CEAV) and paramedics from the Red Cross entered Rancho Nidia Edith.

They found 68 men and 13 women working in illegal and inhumane conditions while tending tomato crops.

Officials arrested six men and one woman at the scene.

After the working conditions were documented, an agent with the public prosecutor’s office opened an investigation into the crime of human trafficking in the form of labor exploitation.

The CEAV reported that the 81 victims rescued from the farm have been provided with medical and legal assistance, and its staff is in the process of helping them return to their places of origin.

Last year, some 200 children were rescued from similar conditions after they were illegally hired as farm laborers.

State authorities have reported that during each harvest season some 4,000 laborers are hired by between 200 and 300 farms in Coahuila, most of them located in the southwestern region of La Laguna and in the northern municipalities of the state.

Source: El Universal (sp)

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