Brazil rescues Paraguayan people in slavery conditions

Brazil rescues Paraguayan people

The Federal Police of Brazil rescued this Monday (03.20.2023) 19 Paraguayan people who they found working in slave-like conditions in a clandestine factory of counterfeit cigarettes, in Rio de Janeiro, official sources reported.

The operation, in which police officers participated with the support of Ministry of Labor officials, took place in Duque de Caxias, a depressed and violent municipality in the metropolitan area of ​​Rio de Janeiro.

The factory was fully operational when the authorities arrived and inside they found that the foreigners were housed in the factory itself in “unfortunate” conditions.

“The workers were in a place without the minimum hygiene conditions, living with animals, between open sewers and with the residues from making cigarettes,” the police statement said.

According to the authorities, they were forced to work 12 hours a day, seven days a week, in two shifts, without weekly rest, without pay and without the appropriate equipment.

The people told the authorities that they were taken to Brazil blindfolded from Paraguay under the promise that they would work in clothing production. As their mobility was restricted, they were unaware that they were in Rio.

In 2022, 2,575 workers who were subjected to conditions similar to slavery in Brazil were rescued by the authorities, 31% more than in 2021, according to data from the Ministry of Labor. Of the total number of people rescued, 148 were foreigners (101 Paraguayan, 25 Bolivian, 14 Venezuelan, 4 Haitian and 4 Argentine), with which the number of migrants released doubled compared to 2021.