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Latino Daily News

Saturday February 15, 2014

Brazilian Police Rescue Bolivians From Human Trafficker

Brazilian Police Rescue Bolivians From Human Trafficker

Photo: Human trafficking

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Brazilian police rescued two Bolivian immigrants from a trafficker who intended to sell them into slavery, a pro-migrant activist said Friday.

The trafficker, also from Bolivia, put the pair up for sale last Sunday at a weekly street fair in the Bolivian quarter of Sao Paulo, the Rev. Roque Patussi told CBN radio.

Patussi works with the Immigrant Support Center, or Cami, which is now assisting the prospective slaves.

The trafficker fled the street fair when he spotted police, who showed up after fair-goers reporting seeing him with the two migrants and a sign offering the pair for 1,000 reais ($416).

Prosecutors launched an investigation as Cami sought to acquire legal residence for the two men, who acknowledged that the trafficker arranged their passage to Sao Paulo with a promise of $500-a-month jobs in a garment factory.

On arrival, the factory boss told them they would be paid much less than promised, at which point the men refused to work and asked for help getting back to Bolivia.

The trafficker then told them he would sell them into slavery to recoup the money he spent smuggling them into Brazil.

The two migrants declined to file a criminal complaint against the trafficker, fearing deportation and reprisals against their families in Bolivia.

The Bolivian Consulate in Sao Paulo agreed to pay the cost of returning the men to their homeland, Patussi said.

Thousands of Bolivian migrants - many of them undocumented - work in the garment factories of Sao Paulo.

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