July 2010

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Mexico City, July 4, 2010

Attorney-Mexico Program Director, Griselda Vega and Program Assistant, Dirk Ewers, left for a four-day trip to Mexico City, to initiate the pilot project of a three-year investigation of H-2A guestworker recruitment abuses in Mexico. Over three years, the project will document recruitment abuses of migrant workers that enter the U.S. through the H-2A agricultural guestworker program, with the goal of changing the public policy of the Mexican and U.S. governments, so that human and labor rights of these workers will be respected in the future.

Mexico City, July 5, 2010

Today, twenty-seven participants of the Jornaleros SAFE project came together for the first introductory sessions of the two-day training. For the next two months, researchers will visit villages to gather preliminary data in a two month pilot project to be evaluated in September. Thus, the training introduced the methodology of the investigation, presented the issues related to recruiter abuses, and provided basic security protocols .

Mexico City, July 6, 2010

In order to turn the theory into practical use, the second day of the training integrated interactive participation into the agenda, including a role-play that showed a local Mexican official offering work visas and in turn getting kickbacks from the workers. Later, interviewers acted out a variety of field investigation scenarios, thereby testing out a questionnaire created for the project. Finally, the defenders headed back to their communities, while executive committee members stayed for another round of meetings to finalize the steps for the ensuing months.

Mexico City, July 7, 2010

While in Mexico City, the Global Workers team met with other organizations that work on migration-related issues and attended several presentations. Mexico has been suffering from a wave of kidnappings that extort payments from relatives in the United States, but the depth and extent on how it affects migrants from Central America became evident during a presentation of a new report on “Violations of Human Rights of Central American Migrants” that Dirk attended at the Center for Protection of Human Rights (Prodh).

Mexico City, July 8, 2010

The day was spent with meetings, introducing the project to organizations that work on migrant issues in Mexico and learn more about the unsettling security situation in Mexico.

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