“A Story of Exploitation and Extreme Hardship”

The Los Angeles Times is publishing a four-part exposé about brutal conditions endured by farm workers in Mexico. One of the articles profiles Bioparques de Occidente, a company that has supplied tomatoes to outlets such as Walmart, Safeway, and Albertons:

“At the labor camp for Bioparques de Occidente, they and other farmworkers slept sprawled head to toe on concrete floors. Their rooms crawled with scorpions and bedbugs. Meals were skimpy, hunger a constant. Camp bosses kept people in line with threats and, when that failed, with their fists.

“Escape was tempting but risky. The compound was fenced with barbed wire and patrolled by bosses on all-terrain vehicles. If the couple got beyond the gates, local police could arrest them and bring them back. Then they would be stripped of their shoes.”