Thursday, December 11, 2008
Farmer on the loop of civil rights violation.
Farmworkers who have Seen for themselves that there is NO JUSTICE in this World of Woes: because the People who do the Most Work seem to get Paid the Least Money for it, while those People who do the Least Work seem to get Paid the Most Money for it. Therefore, there Needs to be a more Equitable System of Good Government, which makes Farming Profitable for whomever is Willing and Able to Learn and Work.
The FBI confirmed Yesterday it was investigating allegations that a farmer fired shotgun blasts over Mexican guest workers' heads, exposed them to pesticides and paid them less than minimum wage.
The abuse allegations were outlined in a federal lawsuit filed Wednesday by immigrant rights organizations.
A delegation of African Americans attempted to conduct a citizen's arrest of their boss, Charles "Bimbo" Relan, because he is violating the federal laws that define slavery, peonage, human trafficking, and servitude.
The lawsuit accuses Charles "Bimbo" Relan, owner of Bimbo's Best Produce, of forcing the workers to toil in strawberry fields in Amite, La., about 75 miles northwest of New Orleans. Relan also confiscated the workers passports so they would not flee, the lawsuit claims.
"We worked hunched over for hours, doing backbreaking work. He treated us like animals. We were not human beings," said former worker J. Jesus Martinez-Hernandez, one of 13 plaintiffs.
Hours before the lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court, FBI spokeswoman Sheila Thorne said authorities were investigating possible civil-rights violations in the case. She declined further comment.
Relan didn't immediately return a telephone message seeking comment.
According to the lawsuit, Relan oversaw field work carrying a shotgun and fired it over workers' heads "on occasion." He also shot a stray dog to death that workers had befriended, according to the lawsuit.
Relan did not spray the pesticides on workers, but in a proximity that "vapors from these pesticides came into contact with plaintiffs' skin and mouths," according to the lawsuit.
The workers were in the country legally under the H2A visa program, which enlist foreigners to do seasonal farm work for at least minimum wage.