1. Skip to navigation
  2. Skip to content
  3. Skip to secondary content

Latino Daily News

Thursday February 2, 2012

52 Brazilians Found to be Working as ‘Slaves’ in Amazon Region

52 Brazilians Found to be Working as ‘Slaves’ in Amazon Region

Photo: Brazil Slaves Found

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Brazilian authorities on Wednesday rescued 52 farm workers who were being held in slave-like conditions on three ranches in the Amazon state of Para, the government said.

Four of the workers were minors - a 15-year-old girl who worked as a cook and boys aged 13, 14 and 16 who cut wood or worked in the fields, the Labor Ministry said in a statement.

Workers were living with their children in seven canvas tents that had been erected on the rural properties.

The ministry imposed fines totaling 168,900 reais ($97,630), which the ranch owners are to pay as damages to the workers.

Brazilian authorities last year rescued 2,271 workers subjected to degrading conditions in 158 operations, meting out a total of 5.4 million reais ($3.1 million) in fines.

The government also maintains a “black list” of 294 companies that have been denounced for holding workers in slave-like conditions.

The list is publicly available and prevents those companies from applying for loans at public-sector banks.

Several industries and exporters’ and supermarket associations also use the list to crack down on the sale of products from companies that use slave labor.