Chimaltenango, Guatemala April 30, 2010

Today, another organization joined our work, Centro de Estudios y Apoyo al Desarollo Local (CEADEL) based in Chimaltenango, about one hour north west of Guatemala City. Chimaltenango is the center of the maquila textile industry in Guatemala. The labor rights violations committed against the mostly young, female work force are tremendous. With a staff of 18, CEADEL, has garnered much attention for its groundbreaking work defending these women. They offer courses to develop women labor leaders, organize protests at specific factories, train girls and adolescents in alternative employment, and litigate cases for workers to recover stolen wages and benefits (one recent case includes half million dollars in stolen social security funds). CEADEL is our one Defender in Guatemala that works exclusively on labor rights. Chimaltenango is also the home state of most of the workers caught up in the infamous Pottsville, Iowa immigration raid at a Kosher meat processing plant. The raid not only resulted in the deportation of hundreds of workers but a criminal investigation of the factory owners for serious labor violations.

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