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Oaxaca, Mexico February 10, 2008

Oaxaca is the second state in Mexico where the Transnational Migrant Defender Network will launch in Mexico. This trip was to identify the partner organizations to invite to the first advocate training scheduled for the end of April in Chiapas. Oaxaca is a fascinating state. Highly organized with a myriad of NGOs and civil society groups, it was a challenge to narrow the potential partners. The section of Oaxaca that is the source of the most migrants is in the north west area where the Mixtec indigenous people live.

Tapachula, Chiapas, Mexico February 7, 2008

Global Workers is excited to announce that it will conduct its first sending-country advocate training April 27-30 in Tapachula. We traveled to Tapachula to coordinate logistics for the training with a local NGO advocate partner, the Friar Matias Center for Human Rights. 25 lawyers and legal assistants from southern Mexico (Chiapas and Oaxaca) will be invited to attend this inaugural training. After years of laying the ground work, Global Workers is in the position to officially launch the Transnational Migrant Defender Network.

New York, December 5, 2007

Global Workers just learned that one worker in Guatemala refused to pay the illegal and exaggerated recruitment fees required for him to go to the US with the guest worker H-2 program. Although the recruiter had already chosen this worker to go, he was dropped off the list when he stood up for his rights. Global Workers is working in coordination with a US NGO to see what can be done for this courageous worker. The hope is that a retaliatory claim can be brought to offer some relief and, equally as important, this sparks a transnational call to end the illegal charges.

Huehuetenango, Guatemala November 17, 2007

While investigating the coercive tactics of the US forestry companies (actually, the subcontractors the companies hire to recruit the guest workers) Global Workers learned first hand of the particularly exploitative conditions under which these Guatemalans labor legally in the US. Although illegal under US and Guatemalan law, the Guatemalan workers are required to pay upfront all of their transportation and visa fees to go to the US through the guest worker program.

Huehuetenango, Guatemala November 16, 2007

Huehuetenago, in the northwest highlands of Guatemala, is the largest migrant sending area in Guatemala. From here originate most of the approx. 4,000 forestry workers who go the US every year through the guest worker program to plant pine tree saplings. One of Global Workers’ partners in the US, contacted us to investigate a disturbing case. This NGO currently has several class actions pending on behalf of grossly underpaid pine tree workers.

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