“I work because… we need money to eat things”…

[hupso title=”I work because we need money to eat things… Part 3 of @LATimes’ breaking investigative report of #Mexican tomato industry” url=”http://ciw-online.org/blog/2014/12/la-times-3/”]

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LA Times series continues with a focus on child labor, company stores in Mexican produce industry…

The portrait of an industry out of control continued to be filled out this past weekend with the final two installments in the explosive four-part LA Times investigative series, “Product of Mexico: Hardship on Mexico’s farms, a bounty for US tables.” 

On Friday, the third installment focused on the role of company stores in perpetuating farmworker poverty in Mexico, driving workers into debt and, in the words of the Times’ Richard Marosi, playing “a key role in a farm labor system that holds workers in a kind of indentured servitude.”

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On Sunday, the series concluded with a heartrending story of the exploitation of child labor in Mexico’s fields, “Children harvest crops and sacrifice dreams in Mexico’s fields.”  The investigative team followed Alejandrina, a 12-yr old girl who has worked in the fields already for several years, and her family as they traveled around several different Mexican states over the course of a year.  The multi-media report is stunning.  Watch and listen to her story here below:

If you haven’t already, be sure to check out both installments, here and here.  Then check back this week as we take in the series as a whole and reflect on what it means for everyone who touches the Mexican produce industry, from the corporations that buy its tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers, to the Fair Food Nation, whose fight for fundamental human rights is tied inextricably to the fate of farmworkers in Mexico, where workers face an uphill battle for the simplest respect and dignity due all human beings.