Slave Labor in Brazil: In Brazil, the country with the densest forests and the largest river basin in the world, there is a lot of oppression on the laborers. Foreigners are brought to the cities here by promising them good wages and food and then they are forced into slavery. They are made to work for hours without any break, are badly tortured for asking for food or wages. Even electric shocks are given.
The shocking revelation about the pathetic condition of the laborers here came when the government started taking action on the complaints of ‘liquor scandal’. This was covered by the global media as ‘Brazilian Wine Slavery’. According to the BBC report, in southern Brazil, more than 200 people were freed from the clutches of slavery, many of them told their stories. Nico, who lives in the northeastern city of Salvador, said that in Brazil’s Bento Gonçalves, large numbers of people are kept as ‘bonded’ labor and exploited by wine factory operators.
Promised good pay with free food
Labourer Niko, who was recently released from the clutches of the liquor factory operators, said, People contacted, they said that they need workers, who will be given 770 every two months along with free accommodation and food. In a country where the minimum wage is $250 a month, it was a matter of pleasure for us to make a promise to pay such a high amount. So I helped gather 47 workers and drive them thousands of kilometers from Salvador to the Brazilian wine region of Bento Goncalves.”
Atrocities on laborers in ‘Fenix Services’
Niko said, ‘On reaching Bento Goncalves, we felt that our luck has awakened, that we got a good job. But this opportunity turned into a nightmare. In ‘Phenix Services’ (the company where the exploitation took place), we were sent to work without rest, and then brutally harassed. Had the government not been aware, we would have been oppressed like this there.’
60,000 people were saved from slavery
Brazilian media reports that ‘Fenix Services’ provides laborers for Brazil’s three big wine producing companies Aurora, Garibaldi and Salton. Many contractors are doing this here. According to an official report, 60,000 people have been rescued from slavery in Brazil since 1995. And, these figures were released by the Ministry of Labor of Brazil.
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