Mexican police rescued 275 people subjected to labor exploitation from a company that grew tomatoes in the municipality of San Gabriel, Jalisco Mexico, reported the State Attorney.
The Attorney General of the State of Jalisco said in a statement that the victims -191 men, 45 women and 39 children, belonging to 42 families, lived in the factory in subhuman conditions. According to the source, all of the people who were rescued belong to rural communities in the states of Veracruz, San Luis Potosi and Hidalgo.
The rescue was achieved through a complaint made by three laborers who in recent days managed to escape from the place, he added.
Salvador Gonzalez de Los Santos (Attorney General), reported that when performing the intervention at the company Bioparques de Occidente , there were five individuals who acted as foremen that were arrested.
He also added that a full investigation will be conducted in which these individuals who were arrested, could be charged with crimes related to human trafficking, illegal deprivation of liberty and others.
Upon an inspection of the company's premises, agents found that the area intended to house the workers "was in not in sanitary conditions" and came across "bedbugs and lice".
So far, the Jalisco Institute of Forensic Sciences has identified 24 children with some degree of malnutrition, the statement said.
The victims said they were brought to this place by deception from their places of origin and that they were not paid as agreed. At first they had been offered 100 pesos ($ 7.80 USD) a day, but when they arrived they were told that they would only receive that amount if they collected 40 boxes of tomatoes daily.
In addition, payment was through vouchers that were to be kept until the end of a three month contract. Throughout their time at the company, various products that they were given were being charged from the money that they had earned, which in the end they would end up getting paid very little or not paid at all.
Santos said that because of the intervention and investigation of the authorities was successful,
the workers will be paid everything that they are owed by the company, including the cost of transportation so that they can go back to their places of origin.
Santos concluded that there will be a federal investigation on this case, and that closing down part of this company’s operations has not been ruled out.