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A tienda de raya in 2013

On 11 June 2013 the company Bioparques de Occidente, in San Gabriel, in the Llano en llanas (Burning Plain), made headlines after 275 workers who were cultivating tomatoes were rescued from living in slave-like conditions. The various news reports indicate that a migrant worker escaped and alerted authorities in the city of Guadalajara La Jornada, 11 June 2013; Proceso, 11 June 11, 2013; El Economista, 12 June 2013; Agence France-Presse, 12 June 2013; Univision, 12 June 2013. According to the news reports, the workers (from various states including Veracruz, Guerrero, Hidalgo and San Luis Potosí) were living in precarious, dirty and overcrowded conditions, and were paid half of what had been promised in vouchers redeemable at the company’s store (vales de despensa). Additionally, they reported that sometimes if they tried to escape they were brought back and beaten. The Mexican newspaper Proceso reported that the workers were offered $100 pesos ($8 US dollars) daily, food and a space to live, but once they arrived they were paid $50 to $70 pesos ($4 to $6 US dollars) daily and they were housed in a room of about 4 metres by 4 metresProceso,11 June 2013.