August 2010


Chilpancingo, Guerrero, Mexico - August 2, 2010

Attorney-Mexico Program Director, Griselda Vega, and Program Assistant, Dirk Ewers travelled today to Chilpancingo, the capital of the state of Guerrero. The two are conducting a follow-up visit on the SAFE-Jornaleros project. Jornaleros is a three-year investigation of H-2A agricultural guestworker recruitment abuses in Mexico. Researchers began collecting data in July 2010. A preliminary evaluation will be conducted in September before the project gets fully on its way in seven different states.

Chilapa, Guerrero, Mexico - August 3, 2010

Centro Morelos, a Global Workers’ Defender in Guerrero , located in Chiapas. It is the capital of the Region Centro, one of seven administrative entities in the state of Guerrero. Chiapas was once an important trading post, bigger than Acapulco or Chilpancingo, but today is a rather sleepy mid-size town surrounded by small rural hamlets where people survive by subsistence farming and producing local crafts.

Mexico City, Mexico - August 4, 2010

Most of the day was spent travelling back to Mexico City, an overland trip of about 7-8 hours. At night, Griselda and Dirk met for dinner with Global Workers’ board member, Patricia Pineda, a Mexican Labor Attorney. As of late, the independence of unions and their right to bargain collectively has been put in jeopardy, because of Mexican President Calderón’s intervention in the process of how unions select their leaders. The case of the National Union of Mine, Metal, Steel and Allied Workers is currently under review by the Mexican Supreme Court.

Mexico City, Mexico - August 5, 2010

Griselda, the Attorney-Mexico Program Director, joined by Oaxaca Global Workers’ Defender, Bernardo Ramirez of FIOB, attended “La defensa de los indigenas mexicanos y centroamericanos en los Estados Unidos de America – el caso del estado de Washington,” or “The Defense of Mexican and Central American Indigenous Communities in the U.S.A.

Mexico City, Mexico - August 6, 2010

The second day of the Indigenous conference, Griselda and Bernardo listened to several specific examples of U.S. lawyers, both private and public, that successfully defended the rights of members of indigenous communities. First, a private attorney discussed how language was the primary reason a Guatemalan indigenous woman of Mayan Mam descent had her parental rights terminated. The court assumed she spoke Spanish.

Mexico City, Mexico - August 9, 2010

Today, the executive committee of the project Jornaleros met for a daylong meeting. The committee is comprised of two representatives of each of the four entities, Human Mobility Commission of the Catholic Church, CITA, United Farm Workers, and Global Workers.

Juxtlahuaca, Oaxaca, Mexico - August 11, 2010

Today, Global Workers accompanied Bernardo Bautista, Director of the Frente Indigena de Organizaciones Binacionales, FIOB, and FIOB staff member Isabel Reyes, to a couple of mountain communities to conduct interviews with migrant workers as part of the Jornaleros project. It turned out that the workers were not H-2A agricultural workers, but had worked on the H-2B visa planting pine trees in the Southern U.S.

Tlaxiaco, Oaxaca, Mexico - August 12, 2010

The third Global Workers’ defender investigating recruitment abuses, as part of the Jornaleros project, is Ñu’u Ji Kandií, located in Tlaxiaco, Oaxaca. On our way to Tlaxiaco, we encountered a roadblock by the Federal Police. The driver’s papers were scrutinized for almost 30 minutes. Supposedly the driver was interrogated because smugglers frequently transport migrants in minivans crossing the country en route to the northern border.

Guatemala City, Guatemala August 23, 2010

Executive Director, Cathleen Caron, travelled to Guatemala for two weeks with a full agenda, which includes attending a conference in Chiapas, Mexico, strengthening relationships with our Guatemalan Defenders, and supporting the first-ever group of Guatemalan workers who will protest conditions in a temporary labor program.

Guatemala City, Guatemala August 24, 2010

Today Global Workers organized a meeting with the two leaders of AGUND and the Global Workers Defenders in Guatemala City. AGUND plans to hold a protest in Guatemala City September 1 to denounce the conditions in Canada and the abuses that IOM commits (the biggest complaint is black listing and threats) as it administers the program.


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