rescue 43 Mexican immigrants who were being exploited in Canada

Oscar Vigil

Toronto, Glen. A total of 43 Mexican citizens were rescued by the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP for its acronym in English), in coordination with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) Police and City of Barrie, located north of Toronto, in what is considered the biggest blow to a system of modern slavery which in recent years has mushroomed in Canada, but it is even today virtually it becomes public.

News conference, police authorities explained that the 43 migrants, mostly men between 20 Y 46 years, They had been brought into the country under false pretenses by suspected traffickers and once here and forced to work as cleaners in hotels in the cities of Collingwood, Innisfil, Oro-Medonte and Cornwall, Ontario.

They lived in squalid conditions in the cities of Barrie and Wasaga Beach, north of Toronto, and apparently controlled traffickers payments were made. These people had paid large amounts of money to leave Mexico, supposedly jobs here in Canada.

“Human trafficking is modern slavery”, He told reporters OPP Commissioner, Rick Barnum, one Barrie, adding that “exploitation is the key element of this offense”.

Traffickers their victims charged fees for transportation and lodging and other services, and in some cases, after paying all that charged them, He had left less than $50 a month, the official said.

Luis Mata know in detail both this case and others that are happening in the province. He is the Program Coordinator for Migrant Workers Mobile in Ontario and the Program Against Trafficking in Persons, community organization that manages the FCJ Refugee Center.

"We do a work against trafficking and create alerts about human trafficking, particularly in the area of ​​labor exploitation ", said community worker.

He said that what has been happening in recent years is that there are people who are taking advantage of the system and is fooling people, particularly Mexico, to come as tourists to the country. the train, They take them eta (Electronic Travel Authorization) required for travel to Canada, They make them a tour package, etc., when they are arriving at the airport and collect them and take them to places where they are locked up and put to work, making a series of absolutely illegal discounts. Remember that Mexico's citizens do not require visas to travel to Canada.

"The work carried hotels, cleaning to do restaurants, They pay them the minimum wage, They make them a range of discounts, They charge them rent, transport and a range of services that ultimately leaves victims with almost nothing per month. It is a blatant form of exploitation. Y, also, They threaten to repórtalos with Immigration or the police ", Mata explained.

The 43 Mexicans released in the city of Barrie worked for a cleaning company offering such services to hotels in the area, according to the police, who at the moment he is in the process of establishing charges against the owners of this.

Luis Mata said that this is precisely the modus operandi of this type of "front businesses that make a whole process of modern slavery", which it is a phenomenon that happens very often, but so far it has been practically unknown.

"There is an intersection between sex trafficking and labor trafficking, but the attention of the media and the authorities has been primarily focused on sex trafficking, which it is a very serious crime which of course must be pursued. But the issue of labor trafficking has been a little forgotten, and it turns out there is a huge amount of workers in places we do not know, who have been trafficked, which they are being exploited at work, They are humiliated and denied their human rights and we know nothing about it ", he explained.

In this sense, He said an achievement of this case is that it has in national public opinion a situation that is living, which is trafficking for labor exploitation, which it is a business that is taking place and increasing in Canada and that is very lucrative, Billionaire worldwide.

"These 43 workers, all of them are going to grant a temporary residence and work permit open for six months, thanks to the police report border (CBSA) It was very humanitarian, with social approach, understanding and analyzing the situation in context, that they are working here without documents because they were deceived, traficados, and thanks to the support of various social organizations that were able to document very well the case ", he pointed.

Finally, Mata insisted that it is very important that the public knows that today slavery is a phenomenon that is happening, and that is because there are problems in the system that facilitate this exploitation is given, As poverty, the desperation to get out of places where there is violence or social injustice, and people who take advantage of these situations to deceive people and exploit them.