April 18th, 2011
11:22 PM ET

Victims break chains of slavery

By Brian Byrnes, CNN

Buenos Aires - Maria Velasquez was in need of work. She had no prospects in her hometown of La Paz, Bolivia, so when she was offered a bus ticket to Argentina and assured of steady work and a home there, she jumped at the chance.

It was a trip that would take her to the depths of the garment industry's slave labor trade only to emerge as a member of a cooperative credited with raising awareness about slave labor on two continents.

"I was promised a sewing job in Argentina that would pay a dignified salary of $200 a month. But just like so many other victims, I was lied to," says Velasquez, 31.

She quickly became a victim trapped inside a vast network of workers who are lured from Bolivia to Argentina on empty promises.

Most endure long and brutal journeys before being sent to work in clandestine clothing factories under oppressive conditions.

In Velasquez's case, she and her husband, with their one-year-old son, crossed the border into Argentina in 2006 using counterfeit documents provided to them by the smugglers.

There was not a fake passport available for an infant boy, so Velasquez had to cut her son's hair and put him in a pink dress so he looked like the baby girl pictured on the passport. It worked.

Once in Buenos Aires, Velasquez soon realized the whole scenario was a scam. She was dispatched to a hot, crowded factory and forced to sew 18 hours a day, seven days a week.

She says she was rarely allowed outside, and had to sleep in a hallway alongside 20 other workers. For all her work, she made $25 dollars a month.

"My son would sit under the sewing table and cry, and my boss would yell at us all the time," she says.

With little money and no contacts in Argentina, she felt she had no choice but to stay and work at the sweatshop. After a year, though, the mistreatment became too much, and she fled with her husband and son.

Eventually, she arrived at La Alameda, a community center that serves Argentina's burgeoning Bolivian community. Velasquez soon learned that they also make clothes there, and found that her sewing skills were in demand.

La Alameda clothing collective is situated on the noisy second floor of a century-old corner building in the working-class Parque Avellaneda neighborhood of Buenos Aires.

Inside, Velasquez and a dozen other men and women - nearly all of whom are former victims of slave labor - produce sweat-free clothing in a non-threatening environment.

Instead of constant verbal abuse and sleepless nights, they now spend their days stitching dresses, blouses, and uniforms for small local companies.

Each member works an eight-hour shift, and earns around $4 dollars an hour. The cooperative's rules are simple: there is no boss, all issues are voted upon, and profits are split.

"I now have the freedom to be a part of my children's lives. I have a say in the decisions we make here. We all earn the same amount. It is an excellent change of lifestyle for me," says Velasquez.

In 2009, La Alameda decided to take their goods global. They partnered with a similar workers' collective in Thailand, Dignity Returns, and began jointly producing colorful T-shirts under the label name "No Chains."

The T-shirts feature designs by artists from all corners of the globe, and are sold online and in shops in Buenos Aires and Bangkok for $15 dollars each.

The "No Chains" initiative has been credited with helping bring attention to slave labor in Argentina and Thailand, both countries where the trade is particularly prevalent, while also promoting ethical consumption practices.

In Argentina, slave labor boomed during the past decade, a consequence of the country's devastating economic crisis in 2001, when it defaulted on some $100 billion dollars in debt. The currency devaluation that followed made it prohibitively expensive to import products and, consequently, Argentina's textile industry exploded.

"The clothing business grew very quickly here but without serious fiscal, political or labor controls," says Gustavo Vera, the director of La Alameda and a leading advocate for labor rights in Argentina.

"Now, in Buenos Aires city there are 3,000 clandestine clothing factories with some 25,000 workers. Nearly 80 percent of the clothing produced in Argentina is made in clandestine factories," he says.

Buenos Aires city officials say in 2010 they identified 1,200 locations where forced labor was suspected of taking place. They acknowledge it is a challenge to shut down the sweatshops and admit they do not know exactly how many clandestine factories exist.

That is one reason why Daisy Cahuapaza, 34, values her job at La Alameda so much. Like her workmate Velasquez, she came to Argentina from Bolivia, and worked long hours for little pay in a clandestine factory.

Now, as a member of the collective, she is thrilled that she can make a living wage and support her four children. She is quick to point out, however, that many others are still falling prey to the same trap.

On a recent trip to Bolivia, she says she saw a dozen buses at a La Paz bus station filled with nervous young women destined for foreign borders - and uncertain futures.

"More people are being brought from Bolivia every day. Not just here to Argentina, they go to Brazil too," she says. "The reality is that people need the work. And for that work, they have to suffer."

Topics: Business • Life In Slavery • Solutions

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soundoff (691 Responses)
  1. Sally Li

    Slavery is on the increase worldwide, especially in the United States. Now, enjoy your meal at your usual table, and
    whatever you do, don't think about the well-being of the non-English speaking people or the child waitress who brought it to your table, or the monotonous lifestyle and boring, drudgery – infested lives of those who prepared it for you. After all, the local in$pector$ didn't find anything wrong when they in$pected condition$ in the fine dining establishment recently.

    April 19, 2011 at 2:33 am | Reply
    • Andrew

      Golly, Sally. Where we all be if it wasn't for you.

      April 19, 2011 at 9:41 am | Reply
      • liz wilson

        Wow Andrew, heartless and sarcastic – true capitalist through and through

        April 19, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
      • Mark Anthony

        You have a total lack of compassion. Perhaps one day you will see through their eyes.

        April 19, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
      • Ramrod

        Yes. Capitalists create jobs. Then they hire goons to enforce slave conditions. Nothing new.

        April 19, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
      • macbaldy@yahoo.com

        The misfortune of others makes you unmanageably insecure, huh? Denial is more effective if you leave "bad enough" alone.

        April 19, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
      • RedWhiteBlue

        Try and remember the shit that got us here. There are only a few people to blame, as opposed to the general population. Those folks are John McCain, Sarah Palin, and George Bush. All Sarah does in Alaska is import Russian slaves and McCain began helping to fund this in the early 2000's. All American's want is to be proud of the work we do. The best of us have never opted to have the brunt of things carried out in sweat shops in which the only people benefiting the revenue are the those the fall in the top 10% of our country's income bracket. We are also one of the few countries that encourage senior citizen labor and slavery! Who ever heard of forcing our forefathers to work at Lowes and Home Depot in their late seventies because 100 people in Washington wanted more money to themselves? I cringe every time I see a 60 year old cleaning a dressing room at Macy's-UNDER COVER SLAVERY.

        April 19, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
      • wimo

        Well!! ;))) Someone need to do that??

        April 19, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
      • saiyan5

        Is that really funny to you? Maybe the foods and the water you consumed damage your brain cells .

        April 19, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
      • Michelle

        Sally you are a sick heartless monster! you make americans look like fat pigs who don't care about the world! shame on you you are sick!

        April 20, 2011 at 1:12 am |
      • Sally Li

        Michelle – you totally misinterpreted what I posted. I am goading people who walk into these places with their eyes closed, and trying to shame them into developing a better social conscience in their own communities. I'm also questioning the fact
        that we have several layers of Government whose main responsibility is to look out for people who are exploited, and they are doing practically NOTHING! In fact, they are feeding whistleblowers to the wolves.

        April 20, 2011 at 2:27 am |
    • Neeneko

      In other words, stay away from all those scary ethnic places and eat at good old fashioned american themed places, where the child labor is white and hard working rather then forced.....

      Yeah... not helpful.....

      April 19, 2011 at 9:46 am | Reply
      • Pinolera

        Obviously you haven't taken a look inside a fine dining kitchen to see who really is doing the cooking.

        April 19, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
    • Ryan

      What? I dont know what kind of places you've been eating at, but i've never had a sever who was underage, or even looked close to underage. The only exception to that, is the local FAMILY owned mexican restaurant in town that has their family members work there......

      April 19, 2011 at 9:54 am | Reply
      • Sally Li

        Ryan – first you say you NEVER had a server who was underage, then "the only exception to that . . ." In the words of Justin Bieber – if there IS an exception, then "never say never." @Neeneko: there are plenty of ethnic restaurants in the USA which neither exploit child labor or non-English speaking contract workers – but there are plenty, my friend, that DO exploit their own children and vulnerable non-English speaking help, to squeeze the last penny out of life. In the words of Ronald Reagan, ". . . better open your eyes." (1994). @zxasxz46: you have no idea what or who you are talking about. American vigilance with regard to child labor conditions is a very old and honorable tradition in this country, but there are powerful interests which have always opposed such child protection. Read "Madam Secretary – Frances Perkins" (a book about the US Secretary of Labor during the FDR years) to inform yourself. From the 1940's to the early 1960's, child labor issues were virtually nonexistent in America – but today we are importing the child labor problems and exploitative issues of the rest of the world, and statistics show that. Ironically, one of the major opponents to child labor protection in America is the Catholic Church (and you can see this for yourself if you read the book about Frances Perkins) and yet no institution in America has exploited children more. The Catholic Church has opposed child labor laws on grounds that these laws violate the sanctity of the family. (!) @ Andrew and Matt, and Quincey9, sarcasm and foul language which are pointless and not well taken will not impress anyone. Keep it civil. @ChrisHenri – the reason for illegal immigrant labor from Latin America is the fact that minimum wage laws in the USA
        (which are the byproduct of liberal granstanding) keep Americans out of entry-level positions in the job market. Latin Americans have done rather well in the United States, and they do not tend to brazenly import slaving and exploitation into the USA the way some other new-pattern immigrants have done. The Latin American economic issues are complex, and I believe that the problem in Latin America is that some of these government try to take care of their people too much – so Latin America lurches between nonproductive socialism and feudal exploitation, with no middle ground – and again, we see that birth rates have a lot to do with this. This is the foundation of the culture of "party tonight and be poor again manana" of which you so rightly speak, and this is also found in the Philippines, and for all the same reasons. @johnnyamerica, the problem is not that Americans don't care about non-English speaking people – the problem is that the exploitative businesses which import these workers into the USA don't allow many of these workers to speak English. Zsa Zsa Gabor wrote a book one time in which she advised, "American men: If you import a wife from Europe or Asia, don't teach her to speak English. Your idea of marrying a wife from a non-English speaking country is a good idea for you – so why would you defeat your own purpose?" (At the time she wrote this, it was rare to find a person from mainland Europe or Asia who did speak English with any fluency). @JoanR: Make more observations. We DO have sweatshops in New York and other American locations. You just don't see them. Most of these places have no windows and no signs on the buildings. Many of them employ "homework" labor which ranges from fine and dandy to very exploitative. There have been documentaries on this, which perhaps you haven't seen. Again, people who come here from these exploitative cultures are importing their way of doing things into America lock, stock and barrel, and we need to take them by the collar and say, "Look – this is AMERICA. If you come to a country with the highest standard of living in the world and the greatest political freedoms, YOU are not going to undermine it, and YOU are not going to come here and tell US to do things YOUR WAY, and corrupt OUR officials, and influence us to close our eyes and ears, and to be morally neutral and silent in a time of crisis."

        April 19, 2011 at 12:36 pm |
      • Phil

        If you ever bought an "Amish-made" item then you have supported child labor right here in the USA.

        April 19, 2011 at 1:08 pm |

        I absOlutely agree with your post. My observation of the situation is that, the girl most likely is in much better position than she was in Bolivia, even at the $25 a month. I don't advocate slavery or taking advantage of people in dire need, however for the most part, these folks don't even realize the extent of their hardship until somenone from the mainstream points it out to them. They are mostly happy to have the $25 job and not back where they came from with no job. Again, I don't advocate for the abuse of less capable by those who are more capable, but often times that is the only chance of improvement for that individual.
        I am an immigrant, and had a job at the age of 12. That was not a negative experience for me, Perhaps I missed out on some child activities, but what was more important at that time, it provided the family with the means that it needed. Without some of those opportunities some families are in a much more dire situation. You must first survive before you can thrive.

        April 19, 2011 at 1:08 pm |
      • Truth

        Anyone who quotes Justin Bieber isn't worth listening to...

        April 19, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
      • jay

        Phil - The way the Amish include their kids in their work and daily lives is something we should do more of in the US.

        April 19, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
      • Harold Anderson

        I have to agree with Sally Li on this issue. If you come to another country, it is the responsibility of the new immigrant to respect and abide by the rules of the country. PLAIN and SIMPLE. I am pretty liberal. But it is just common sense.

        April 19, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
      • Phil

        @jay – Yes, it is ideal to have kids run power saws, working (for free) in a factory making sheds. If you don't believe me, do the research; there is a huge Amish shed factory in Leola, PA. The Amish are protected from child labor laws.

        April 19, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
      • Robodl95

        Parents can make their children do what they want. How do you seperate work from chores? Why can parents force kids to wash the dishes, mow the grass, take out the garbage, etc. but not "force" them to work in the family restaurant or business?

        April 19, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
      • Sally Li

        @RobodI95: There are child labor laws which parents are obligated to obey when they employ their own children in a business. Kids are NOT the slaves of their parents. Phil – of course, jay is right in a way when he speaks of family cohesion, but it is not necessary for parents to be slavedrivers in order to claim the laurel of spending time together
        with their kids. Many Amish kids try to escape, due to harsh conditions. You and I both have firsthand experience with the fact that Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, is notorious in official suppression of child labor law investigation.
        People need to rip the lid off this corruption and contact their Congressmen and Senators.

        April 20, 2011 at 2:37 am |
    • zxasxz46

      Better yet lets go to a country where every one is a slave to the elites, the likes of you Sally
      lets make everyone poor except you and your cronies

      April 19, 2011 at 10:38 am | Reply
      • Norm

        There's always one in the crowd.
        Why we would all just shrivel up and blow away if someone like Sally didn't tell us step by step how to behave and live our lives.
        These people usually are the ones that need the most help because they already have it all figured out.

        ; (

        April 19, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
    • Matt

      Jesus, Sally, go blow it out your kazoo!

      April 19, 2011 at 10:53 am | Reply
      • Dee G

        Great reply!

        April 19, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
      • The Triforce

        I say we kill her

        April 19, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
      • Sally Li

        Personal attacks can be expected whenever you are telling the truth in a very unique or trailblazing way. Notice that not one of these attackers has raised a single rational objection to the truth or logic of anything I've said.

        April 20, 2011 at 2:40 am |
    • Chris Henri

      THE REAL PROBLEM is that MEXICO and all the LATIN AMERICAN countries DO NOT take care of their own people! Don't put the blame on AMERICA because these people are forced to come here by their own lousy countries. You want a "FIX"? Fix THOSE countries. Bunch of ignorant left wing liberal wing nuts don't even know the facts- you want to give aspirin to a brain tumor victim. Take out the tumor which is Latin American culture of drink and party tonight be poor again manana.

      April 19, 2011 at 11:13 am | Reply
      • Laura


        April 19, 2011 at 11:27 am |
      • everyone's problem

        Drink and party tonight and be poor tomorrow? I thought that was the mantra of every American under 30 years old. The problem with Latin Amrerica is crippling graft and even more crippling human population. That is the same with India, all of Africa and much of southeast Asia. Those are not easy to fix since revolution is required for the first and self control for the second. Not even "educated" US citizens can control themselves as everyone seems to have more than two children and very few people can afford them. If we can't do it right, why would they be able to?

        April 19, 2011 at 12:02 pm |
      • Joe

        Well said!

        April 19, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
      • tati

        smtimes it is not possible to fix things. I left my country and I strongly believe that it will always be corrupted – that is just the way it is. The people in Latin America should think before they bring kids into their world, but that is not likely to happen too.

        April 19, 2011 at 12:39 pm |
      • Branko

        ignorant comment, for your information mister above and miss bellow do you people live in denial, slave laborand child labor occurs right under your noses and the you come out with a racist comment like the one you posted. Apparently you did not read this article this story was about a Bolivian lady and her family enslaved in a garment factory in Argentina, but this also happens in California and New York

        April 19, 2011 at 12:41 pm |
      • Norm

        Well golly gee....if there's ever a problem with anything, it has to be the liberals.
        How pathetic of you and your braindead hive mind to want a personal boogeyman to blame all of your problems on.
        The Conservative mantra of total irresponsibility and complete lack of awareness concerning anything inches past their nose.
        You just go on believing whatever fantasy makes you feel blameless and superior to rest of the world.
        Without that you're nothing more than human.
        You people have a hugely rude awakening in store for yourselves and I hope I'm right in the front row with a big box of popcorn to see it.
        All I can say is ...you BETTER hang on to those guns. You're gonna need em.

        April 19, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
      • The Real Tom Paine

        Wow, you complain about Liberal wing nuts, and you have a patented right-wing wacko tirade liek that? Has it occurred to you the reason why you don't ahve to do work like that? Its because some liberal wing nut went out and pushed so kids would not get explotied liek that. Are you willing to take the next step, and boycott companies that employ slave labor? I doubt it, since that would involve you getting off your behind and doing something. Typical conservative reaction, blame someone else ( usually the ones with least ability to fight back) and refuse to take any action after knowing about the problem. If it makes you feel better, invest in one of these cooperatives that allow people to make a decent living without being ruthlessly exploited, or are you too busy sending a check to FreedomWorks to destroy labor laws here?

        April 19, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
      • Dirk Waldon

        Yeah right fella! There are large companies here in the states that only give their employees 30 minutes for lunch and NO 15 minutes breaks. There's no lunch counters at the plants, so the employees have to either bring their cold lunches from home or travel 10 miles to the nearest store (which take you from your work station to the parking area to the store and back). And don't be late getting back either.

        Overtime is mandatory. If you were to make it to the parking area an got call back, (or stopped at the guard gate) and told that you had to return, (or face a chance of termination). If you were not scheduled to work and your house was called and there was no answer, you would be giged as unresponsive (or unreliable).
        Aah man! Please don't let grandma' die. A republican judge might have to grant you a REPRIEVE. LMFAO

        An the union that supposed to be the protector of you rights there, normally sides with the gaint company. I don't want to called them out like that but a dirty dog is just that. Stinky bow-wooooow!

        April 19, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
      • Phil

        Oh Chris Henri, you need to understand how American farm subsidies and NAFTA has pushed prices so low the Latino farmer was unable to compete.

        April 19, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
      • Linda Brown

        Thank you Chris!! Many of these poorer countries have never been able to be self sufficient, prime examples are Haiti and Africa!! I am 52 and I can remember trick or treating with the UNICEF cans and I went to Live Aid because there was a time I cared about other people in other countries, now I don't. We have pumped billions in aid to both of these countries and both of them have high rates of slavery, and most of the women and little girls are sold to the sex traffickers and oft times their ignorant parents sell them to feed the family and they think their SIX YEAR OLD DAUGHTER is gonna go to work in a factory or these scumbags tell the parents the kids are going to the US and will get a good education and all they get is sexually and physically abused as human trafficking is more lucrative than selling drugs. You can get your price for a pound of cocaine but only once where these poor kids are sold over and over again and nine chances out of ten the parents never see them again. Or like in Cambodia and India, the families WILLINGLY sell their kids to brothels for like $300!! I watched a Dateline piece about this and it made me sick to my stomach, a nine yr old girl was sold to a brothel by her own sister!! I don't have much use for people in the Middle East as it is and to think these scumbags sell their kids for sex makes me really not want any of them here. And when the daughters rebel, daddy does the honor killing? They slaughter their daughters because they won't marry the pig Daddy promised them to and he thinks this is fine and dandy and oft times other barbarians hide them out because they are freaking heroes to them! ANY country that allows slavery of any kind to go on, I have no use for, anyone who sells their kids for sex, they should be dead. Now the women here were duped, but they were desperate and these traffickers and shop owners KNOW they are and move in for the kill. Makes me want to hurl to read about this. Haiti and Africa apparently will never be self sufficient and I think it is time to shut off the cash cow and by doing so, these countries will have to take care of their own and if they can't, that is their problem, we have hungry and homeless veterans in this country that should be living well. keep our money in our own country. Now I did not object to sending aid to Japan as those people tried to do everything they could to prevent loss of life as they know they are quake prone and they are hard working people who did not want to ask our help and I feel for all of them, but they will bounce back. Haiti KNOWS full well they are as well and yet, people were living in shacks and packing boxes and had no 911 plan in motion at all, why help people who won't help themselves?

        April 19, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
      • lindita

        You are absolutely right. I'm agree with you one hundred percent. Thank you

        April 19, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
      • Phil

        @Linda Brown – Africa is not a country, it is a continent.

        April 19, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
      • Phil

        @Linda Brown – "I watched a Dateline piece" and now she's the foreign policy expert. Typical American.

        April 19, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
      • sad

        so how about when america and european nations go into these nations and literally take over the industries then on the flip side tell the people if they go to america they can get jobs. Just do some research on where your meat is coming from, do some research on the caribbean banana wars of the late 90s early 2000s. it’s all a game, some of u really think some people just leave because they have nothing better to do in their homelands like come on the same way u have families they have families. the fact is this goes on all over the world, so y the blame game one person suffering is to much, someone posted they are happy for the $25 but i am sure none of u would be happy with that, some make $4000 in this country and complain. I swear sometimes humans can be the most self righteous, selfish, bastards who treat their dogs better than they would a next man. oh also this whole thing about coming to america and respecting the culture which is something i agree with yes if u go to a man’s country u should respect the culture and customs, so y don’t u inform the leaders of this GREAT country that the same rule applies to them also because the last time i checked america doesn’t do a very good job of respecting other peoples cultures and policy it is democracy or the high way.

        April 19, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
      • Kimberly

        Its not just Latin America its all over the world!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        April 19, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
      • Lisa

        This News report is about south america.
        Is about Argentina a country in south america with a population 90% white and the 27th economy in the world.
        They are enslaving their fellows south americans.
        Also, is about Brazil, the 7th biggest economy in the world, climbing positions with a slave work force.

        Many south americans are white (americas like to ignore this fact) and they abuse and exploit other south americans because of the color of their skin and their poverty.
        Color of the skin is a perfect excuse for say this is okay in South America and is better don´t do nothing about it.

        If you visit south america you will see rich people are mostly white and white persons get the better jobs.

        And I don´t know what Mexico has to do with this story Mexico is very far from Argentina.
        Also Mexico is the 14th largest economy in the world (biger than Switzerland) Argentina is the 27th.
        Bolivia is the 99th.
        Are you saying mexicans are going to work as illegals to Argentina or they are sold as slaves to Argentina?
        Or are you saying is Mexico fault what happends in Argentina?
        Americans are so obsesed whit blaming Mexico about everything.
        You dislike illegal immigrants, we get it.
        But this is about slaves about the 27th biggest economy in the world, Argentina abusing of their fellow south americans.
        This about how south americans have no unity or respect for each other.

        April 20, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
    • Quincey9

      So... you're ok with my meal at my usual table? Excellent. I'll start with a glass of wine and I'll order you a nice hot cup of shut the F up.

      April 19, 2011 at 11:27 am | Reply
      • Jon

        You,ve got the mentality of a gibbon ape.

        April 19, 2011 at 12:41 pm |
      • Norm

        LOL....this one has got to be a Fox troll..

        April 19, 2011 at 1:11 pm |
      • james

        A gibons is a monkey, not an ape, you moron...

        April 19, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
      • Michael

        james, gibbons ARE apes, not monkeys. Who's the moron again?

        April 19, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
    • johnny america

      We dont care about non english speakers because they are worthless. They should be happy that we arent using chains and whips. We americans run this planet now, and you all either speak our language or you can rot.

      April 19, 2011 at 11:37 am | Reply
      • sh

        You really should have a higher opinion of your fellow citizens. I know that's that you think they think, but you really should expand your horizons some. Sure, there are those, but more often than not, not.

        April 19, 2011 at 11:56 am |
      • tootie

        i can't not believe some of the crap people put on here. you want to talk about good ole america?? well then lets start with GOD!! do you think GOD would want you to hate non english speaking people?? what about the little baby in this story, the parents WANT to work and make it better for him. you all should be ashamed of your self, i'm embarressed for you. That is not the American people I know. Their country is not as great as America, but they are people, people who care, who want a better life. Remember what you say when it's your turn infront of God. I will pray for you

        April 19, 2011 at 12:14 pm |
      • PhinHead

        Those who don't learn their history are bound to repeat it. The Roman Empire fell, the Ottoman empire fell, the Greek Empire fell....all thought they ruled the world, and they did, for a time, before they collapsed in on themselves. I pray to God you are not a "Christian", because you are a HORRIBLE example of one. Count your blessings and never assume you are the best, there is always someone smarter, more powerful, richer, etc...than you. I count my blessing but I also pray that injustice is met with either profound change or rightful judgement against the perpetrators. Money can't buy you love or happiness, it pays a mortgage, schools, a myriad of things, but never confuse money with happiness. Tis easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. What ever you did to the least of my people, you do unto me. We are all brothers and sisters on the same rock, you don't have to forfeit your life's savings or commit you life to this cause, but you should be humble and have compassion for others that suffer injustice. By the way, Spanish is spoken by more people on this planet than English.

        April 19, 2011 at 12:19 pm |
      • Jim

        Johny, You sound like a true and through liberal in disguise just trying to muster up hatred. I hope people of all sides of the debate refrain from reacting to your ignorance.

        April 19, 2011 at 12:32 pm |
      • PATSMITH0611

        you are so ignorant you think you can go everywhere with English, you should be ashame of yourself, at least when we come here we speak English and our language; what other language do you speak. You need to be smart in order for you two be bi-langua or tri-langual grow up. That's the only place you we know for the rest of your life.

        April 19, 2011 at 12:41 pm |
      • Norm

        (Sigh)...the Fox Trolls are really out in force today....
        Isn't there some NASCAR race you need to be watching somewhere?

        April 19, 2011 at 1:12 pm |
      • coque

        Johnny America, By your ignorant outburst, I can tell that you are not very American and defenetely you do not act and speak like an Ameican.
        By the way, China is running the show now and even they have problems such as the one argued in the article. I do not know if you know how to read the Wall Street Journal but America's credit worthyness is in shambles. We spend more and do not save anything. Our credit was downgrated like any third world country. It hurts to say it, but the truth always hurts

        April 19, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
      • OffensiveJerk

        This guy is awesome. Bring on the controversy, bring on the offensive jargon. The argument rages! It's all just so amusing!!!! I read on like a giddy schoolchild with glee 😉

        April 19, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
      • Kimberly

        Man u got probelms!!! and your def. not educated enough!!!!! if you do live in America you would know the rise in more careers and job oppourtunities for people that spaek other languages like hello spanish!!! so if you think non speaking english people are worthless then you really need to start opening your eye and you can always learn english! ever heard of bilangual! they make more money than peaople who speak 1 languauge. LOSER and america dont run the world earth does again LOSER u can rot with your negative attidude

        April 19, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
      • Justin

        @Kimberly- You don't need to be particularly intelligent to speak any amount of languages, it means nothing that you can speak 2, 3, 4 or however many languages if you sound like a 4 year old.

        And it's not 'bilangual' it's spelled 'bilingual'. You'd know that if you were half as intelligent as you claim to be.

        The reason america went to hell so rapidly in the past decade or so is all of the lazy mexican immigrants who come here and drop a baby they have no love for just to soak up the free money they get and to use them as a handle to grab firmly onto when deportation time come's around.

        THAT is the reason for the high demand for spanish speaking people: Mexican immigrants who come here and expect the world to be handed to them on a platter, the language to change to suit their needs wherever they take over and to be given free money and citizenship because of the kid they "loved" enough to walk through the desert while pregnant with just to turn them into a free meal.

        Then they grow up, uncared for and not properly equipped for life in this country.

        Tell me again how important it is to learn spanish. 🙂

        April 19, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
      • MiD

        Don't feed the troll.

        April 19, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
    • Jim

      What planet are you on? I'm sick of people trying to bring the US down to the level of these other countries around the world on issues such as these. Sure, there are a few problematic pockets around the country, but compared to the rest of world we live in paradise. If you doubt this try living somewhere else...ON A LOCALS INCOME...not a tourist income. You'll quickly discover we all have a lot to be thankful for here. Of course we should always try and improve, but let's keep things in perspective. One of the biggest problems in this country is the youth growing up with a skewed perspective about the world and simply don't realize how lucky we are in America. We are exceptional here. That doesn't make us a superior race however we need to believe in ourselves so the rest of the world can follow our lead. Imagine if the entire world were the US....you would rarely find sweat shops, no M16 toting 13 year olds, etc....would it be problem free? No, however it would be far more peaceful than the world is today.

      April 19, 2011 at 12:15 pm | Reply
      • Sally Li

        Jim, you are on the beam!

        April 19, 2011 at 12:39 pm |
      • Glenda Vargas

        Exactly!!! well said.

        April 19, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
      • Norm

        What they can't understand is that this is God's special country and the rest of the world is being punished for not speaking English.
        They're trying to force their foreign gibberish on us, but just like at the Tower of Babel....we aren't having it.

        April 19, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
      • Fly guy in SJ

        Y'know, Jim, i've lived abroad quite a bit, and always on a local salary, never on any kind of expat package, and you'd be surprised at how much better some places are than here in a lot of respects. I can think of at least one country that is better than here in almost every respect. I can think of another one – a dictatorship, ironically – where I had far more personal freedom there (as do the locals) than I do here, with the exception of political freedom. That last one is big, of course, but my point there is that we have become so bound up in rules and zero tolerance for this, that, and the other thing (kids can't even play softball at my son's school because no one is allowed to bring a bat and the school won't provide them either) on one hand, and so many Americans today living without boundaries (that's very different than living in liberty) that a lot of people find all those rules justified, or even indispensable. In short, the U.S. today is a much less good place to live than it used to, across the board, and many other places are far better than you might imagine them to be.

        April 19, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
      • wimo

        JIM!!! WELL SAID............

        April 19, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
      • jay

        Thank you Jim, finally someone with some common sense. sally. did you not just read this article, do you really think there are people living in those conditions in the US, really? REALLY!!?!?! some people amaze me!

        April 19, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
    • g

      Your comment is so anti American/white that maybe you should leave this country where you undoubtedly enjoy many benefits. Go to a third world country and fight for them.

      April 19, 2011 at 12:26 pm | Reply
    • Mike

      Sally – You're completely out to lunch. It's laughable!

      April 19, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Reply
    • Al

      What is your point Sally? Are you asking people to avoid fine dining establishments? Or are you hinting that the people who employ under-aged employees get rid of them so that they have no source of income at all? Maybe you are just anti poor people earning a living.
      As for slavery, you have no idea what that is.

      April 19, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Reply
      • Sally Li

        I have personally done my part to help people escape from slavery, 21st century style, in several different countries; and you, Al, have no right to tell someone else what they don't know. Your assertion about poor people is ridiculous – the restaurant industry of which I speak is run by very exploitative, violent people. For example, in one restaurant in Philadelphia, a 20-year-old cashier was shot point blank and killed by a New York-based gangster working for one of these restaurant financiers. Have you ever seen the movie Blood Diamond? There ought to be a sequel –
        called Blood Ricebowl. Part of the problem is represented in the shills you see on this forum, who attack what they fear most – an honest and fearless person. Another part of the problem is that local governments and inspectors are very reluctant to investigate a local tax source.

        April 20, 2011 at 2:52 am |
    • Fly guy in SJ

      Without minimizing the terrible experience that she and others have gone through, and speaking as someone engaged in the security industry, she should have known something was up the second fake passports entered the picture and backed out. If fake documents are involved, that's a red flag so large no one could miss indicating that everything is not on the up and up. Since she does not seem like she is particularly stupid, she had to have had at least some idea that everything wasn't right. At the least, she knew with certainty that the people she was dealing with were quite willing to break laws and she was complicit to the point of dressing her son up like a girl. Why, then, did she believe the people she was dealing with would keep their word to her, or even that any of it was true? It 's not like this is a new scam, and there must be rumors that these "job recruiters" are up to no good. Blaming the victim? Yes, partially. She chose to squeeze her eyes shut and ignore all warning signs and could have gotten herself and her family killed as a result. There is no excuse for what her captors did and life in prison at hard labor would be a just sentence and they fully deserve it, but she was complicit.

      Slavery may – or may not; it's very difficult to measure – be on the increase, but as someone else said, the only place you're going to find child table servers in the United States is at a family restaurant, where it is legal for children under the usual legal age to work. I've been working since I was 15 1/2 (the legal age, in case you didn't know, Sally, so a 16 year old waiter or waitress is completely legal) and I spell that O-P-P-O-R-T-U-N-I-T-Y. I did not then, and do not now, need some do-gooder telling me I shouldn't be able to. And yes, I got top grades while working. My wife has been working since she was younger than that in a family business and credits that with helping to develop her iron work ethic.

      Ironically, despite all this talk about slavery, in the SE Asian country where my in-laws run a successful boutique and make all their own clothes from their own designs, they find it very difficult to hire qualified seamstresses. They are difficult to find, competition in hiring is fierce, there has been a very sharp decline in young people studying sewing, and the end result is that the youngest seamstresses they employ are in their mid-late thirties and most are older still. They pay top wages to retain their talent. I don't know where this slavery increase is happening, but it sure isn't happening around there.

      April 19, 2011 at 1:09 pm | Reply
    • Norm

      Hi Sally....I remember you posting your opinion first on another article and the entire comments section turned into how crazy Sally was instead of rational thoughts about the article.
      In the future, could you please wait until later to post your insanity?
      I'm guessing you have no job and make it a hobby to post first to relieve the bordom, but it really does the rest of us an inservice.
      Be a good sport from now on and maybe go over to Fox and play with those airheads.

      April 19, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Reply
      • Sally Li

        So you are all for suppression of freedom of speech, Norm. Are you working for the government of mainland China? They feel the same way about other people's freedom of expression as you do.

        April 20, 2011 at 2:55 am |
    • Carla

      Sally Li, maybe the 'sex trade' would suit you well, you sound like you need a piece...

      April 19, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Reply
    • yooperbubba

      Where do you live and where do you work? Since you are so well read and informative you must have a pretty substantial job of influence. Yet at the same time I refuse to listen to anyone who is quoting a song by Justin Beiber!!

      April 19, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Reply
    • SiCkMiNd

      Wow Sally, you really arouse me...would you like to be my sex salve?

      April 19, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Reply
    • Troy

      Come here legally and you have rights, pretty simple

      April 19, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Reply
    • Slave trader John

      Sally slave are needed, this is a major part of our economy. These little brown skins can sew and cook pretty good, and work cheap enough that we can sell the products at a good price. Its a good thing in America, we need more cheap slave labour and we will get out of our economic problems.

      April 19, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Reply
      • Darrell McCants

        This guy Slave trader John sounds like McCain himself about we need the brown skin. Why not use some of your apparent color race and see how you feel about it then. In fact use yourself. And by the way you are hurting us by hiring cheap labor in those countries and cutting Americans out of jobs and then sending the products back here for us to buy when we don't even have the jobs and money to purchase the items. lol Maybe I should run for President and stop all of the BS that is going on in this country. And let's not talk about being pimped with gasoline!

        April 19, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
    • jay

      Sally Li,

      I agree with what you are saying - I see it first hand in SF Bay area, especially, in Chinese restaurants. I firmly believe the majority of this slave labor is done by immigrant business owners themselves - One's that have been here less than 20 years and have strong ties back to their home countries. IInstead of fully embracing American morals/customs they only embrace the "making money" part and are more than eager to ride the backs of others.

      There's been a tremendous increase in the inflow of immigrants since the early 1990's and we should have cut it off then - Now were paying the price.

      April 19, 2011 at 2:22 pm | Reply
    • Joe

      Where do you eat? Slaves? Give me a break..

      April 19, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Reply
      • Sally Li

        You can have a break. The kids who spend up to 50 hours per week in these restaurants cannot have a break.

        April 20, 2011 at 2:58 am |
    • ConsensualTrade

      Gah Sally. Capitalism is based on the consensual trade of goods. It is the only moral system. These people that are physically taking the property (Ie. their bodies) from these slaves are NOT participating in capitalism. They are breaking he law... but somehow you manage to drag the most sound and most moral society structure into it...

      So since you irrationally blame the societal system for an individuals corruption, what system do you think works best? You know, if it's not capitalism then please inform us... Oh and make sure you don't use one that uses force to steal property (ie. your body, money, your car) or else you'll look like a hypocrite!

      April 19, 2011 at 3:25 pm | Reply
      • Sally Li

        It is not necessary for you to hurl invective. I completely agree with you that slavery is out of bounds in terms of capitalism, because capitalism depends on the free exchange of goods and services between people who have freedom of choice in the matter. The destruction of even one person's freedom of choice is a threat to the entire fabric of capitalism. I would like to point out to the trolls and tin hats on here that the Thirteenth Amendment (the one abolishing slavery in the USA) makes NO exceptions on the basis of age, foreign origin or family relationship. Americans did not fight a civil war in the 19th century only to see the ensuing social reforms which flowed from it destroyed in our own century.

        April 20, 2011 at 3:07 am |
    • Scott

      So sad yet all so true...

      April 19, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Reply
    • Richard

      Sure you don't mean CHINA, do you?

      April 19, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Reply
    • tom

      First - your point is made and it is tragic that this goes on, however - the way you post your comments you paint with a broad brush as if EVERY restaturant in the US operates this way and its as if EVERY "ethnic" restaurant worker is forced or treated badly bar none...and that is simply not true.

      Second – now that you wrote up your novel long comment what are you doing about it if it appalls you so much? Just talking about it on boards like this? Do you still go out to eat at restaurants....if so how are you 100% sure the conditions you speak of don't exist at those places?

      My point is - yes its horrible, yes I agree with you its a shame...but at the same time its NOT every restaurant AND what do you want us to do about it? Not eat out? Ever? You can't tell just from looking at waiters / cookers or waitresses is the place is run properly or not...if you can then its probably a dive to begin with. As for "fine dining"...I generally don't visit those places anyway - A) too expensive and B) I'm a meat and potatoes guy - you can keep your fancy meals...I'll take a steak...thanks.

      April 19, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Reply
      • Sally Li

        The number of restaurants in the United States is close to one million. The number of restaurants involved in shady business practices is less than 20 per cent of the total number. Most of the shady dealers are involved in exploitation of immigrant labor – and some of this is perfectly legal, and some of it is chillingly inhumane and ought to have the book thrown at it. The restaurants abusing child labor and children who are family members (and it may not be physical abuse in most cases) amounts to a total of about 24,000 of the total – or less than three per cent. Still, we are talking about tens of thousands of kids at risk. Open your eyes, and write to Congress – all of you!

        April 20, 2011 at 3:13 am |
    • Patrick

      I'm sick of hearing the term 'slavery' used in these stories. Nobody is forcing this woman. She is free to go someplace else (or back home!) if she thinks she can do better elsewhere. Poor working conditions DO NOT equal slavery. That term is tossed out for political purposes to paint one side in a bad light.

      April 19, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Reply
    • Du1

      Slave labor is alive in the United States!! The unemployment situation is making Americans who can't find other jobs, slaves. There are people working approximately 12-15hrs. per day for far less than minimum wage. If you looked at them, you'd never know what is going on! But they're there! This is true. I know some of them. Working and sweating their butts off for a few dollars! It's disgusting!!! You don't have to go to Argentina to find it. And I'm not talking about illegals or recent immigrants. I'm talking about Americans who worked all their lives and now can't find work. They're unemployment has run out and they can't find help anywhere. Not everyone can get welfare. It's not just disgusting, it's a disgrace!!!!!!!!!

      April 19, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Reply
    • tonyl

      American consumer wants to pay as little as possible. To keep the prices low and the quality low the capitalist is trying to compete using the cheap or slave labor. The Chinese, Indian and all of the third world uses slave labor to bring the cheap products to the US shores. The consumers love it. The Wal-marts and discount stores have all the customers. The products made by high price labor stay on shelves and rot. How do you fix this problem? The trade policies are killing America. Build here and consume here is the answer.

      April 19, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Reply
    • troll

      How do you think this nation became so great??? It was on the backs of slaves for hundreds of years!! That's what needs to happen to het us back on our feet!! Tear down the emancipation proclamation and let's get goin!

      April 19, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Reply
    • arthurrrr

      of course slavery is wrong!!! But this woman, i noticed had NO PROBLEM with FAKE DOCUMENTS, knowing full well that was ILLEGAL. Even going so far as to presenting her SON as a daughter. Sorry, no sympathy for forgers, liars and scammers. Slavery will ALWAYS be wrong. And so will forging documents to show a false identity.

      April 19, 2011 at 4:51 pm | Reply
    • wimo

      Sally,Sally :((( This is the way it is !!

      April 19, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Reply
    • jay

      you're an idiot.

      April 19, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Reply
    • erasableblip

      In your face Soundoffers are a drag

      April 19, 2011 at 5:37 pm | Reply
    • Peter

      I think what Americans cant understand, are the feelings imagrants live with like my Parents, they are a world away in a nice place that issolated from even their neighboors because of a language barier and scared that is they will do something wrong and get kicked out and loose everything, now imagine saving your money and somewhere someone tell you here is a deal of a life time, so u leave your shitty poor country and to try to better your self and not starve, all the woman wanted was to live, thats all, but who do you turn too when nobody around you understands what your saying and you have nobody besides your kid in the world. For me it breaks my heart i think people in this country wont understand it untill its their turn to be poor thanks to over goverment. Just like every other country it will take a massive economic down turn to understand what these people are doing. Maria Velasquez is skilled woman. Its just sad how much the world sucks, the only way to make money without media, is to step stab and hurt people. Its truly sick that people are acually poking fun on this comment webpage. Hopefully what comes around goes around.

      April 19, 2011 at 6:08 pm | Reply
      • Sally Li

        Americans have been kicked out of many countries, sometimes violently – and have lost everything in the process – and one of those countries, believe it or not, is America. Your comment is excellent, Peter. Americans should reach out and be friendlier to those from other countries, when they have a chance to do so. But then again, when Americans do behave in a friendly and welcoming way, the person who is treated kindly should not attack the kindly Americans.

        April 20, 2011 at 3:19 am |
    • well golly Be

      didn't know it was my fault all of that happens. appreciate you letting me know. why don't you complain for the slave that digs for the minerals used in the device that you just used to rant at us.

      April 19, 2011 at 6:37 pm | Reply
    • Pontiff

      Don't feed the troll!!

      April 19, 2011 at 8:05 pm | Reply
    • Dean


      Police Raid Frees 60 Burmese Slaves

      By KO HTWE Wednesday, April 20, 2011

      Imprisoned Burmese migrant workers wait at Bangkok's Din Daeng Police Station (Photo: The Irrawaddy)
      COMMENTS (0)
      RECOMMEND (1)

      More than 60 Burmese migrant workers who were kept prisoner and forced to work in a Bangkok garment factory were discovered by anti-human trafficking police on Tuesday.

      The factory was operated by Chinese national Dalong Wu and his wife Namee Sae Lee. Burmese workers were paid a pittance and not allowed to leave the building, but one escaped and contacted the Burma Association Thailand for help.

      An official from Bangkok's Din Daeng Police Station told The Irrawaddy on Wednesday that nearly 30 migrant workers from the four raided apartments have been detained and will appear in court tomorrow.

      “I went to the Thailand anti-human trafficking police accompanied with a translator on April 12 after I was contacted by one of the migrant workers. They accepted his allegations and rescued the rest,” said Kyaw Thaung, from Burma Association Thailand based in Bangkok.

      Burmese workers climb down from the apartment in which they were detained. (Photo: The Irrawaddy)
      According to The Bangkok Post, police officers arrested Dalong Wu and Namee Sae Lee on suspicion of breaching the Labor Act, and Lee admitted to detaining the workers inside the factory to prevent their escape.

      Thein Naing said that fellow worker Phyo Wai Oo guided police to the factory and he was rescued from the building along with 19 other migrant workers from his apartment.

      Thein Naing was detained in the factory for nearly two months and is now recovering in a rehabilitation center. Many of these migrants have been detained by police for lack of official documentation.

      Staff from the factory had to work from 8 am until midnight, with doors and windows securely locked to prevent them escaping. Some workers had to survive on reduced wages in order to repay recruitment debts of nearly 15,000.

      “I haven’t received my wages yet. They [owners] locked the door and kept watch when we went outside to throw out the garbage. They attracted us by saying they would pay 10,000 baht per month,” said Thein Naing.

      Thein Naing said that he has no official documents, but labor brokers and factory leaders encourage poor Burmese people to enter Thailand and work.

      There are an estimated two to three million Burmese migrants in Thailand, but only 1,310,686 have registered as official migrant workers.

      “I heard that the police will investigate more and if our statements are true and we are deemed victims of trafficking we have to be sent back to Burma,” Thein Naing added.

      “Phyo Wai Oo was also slapped by our boss at the police station and I found that our boss was standing in front of the rehabilitation center when the police took us there.”

      April 20, 2011 at 10:21 am | Reply
  2. Joan Rethcrow

    How do they break the chains of slavery in China? The entire country is a sweatshop. Anyone who thinks the US has this problem needs their head checked or is out to spew foreign propaganda. The US is among the highest standard of living in the world, and is the wealthiest nation in the world. The future hasn't been written yet, so the up and comers can keep patting themselves on the back for something they have not done.

    April 19, 2011 at 3:08 am | Reply
    • GBush3

      You are so ignorant.

      April 19, 2011 at 7:35 am | Reply
      • Richard

        Said the retarded commie dupe.

        April 19, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
    • Uhhhh

      @ Joan ... Huh? Where did you get your information, The Sunday Comics???

      April 19, 2011 at 8:46 am | Reply
    • ken

      maybe your standard of living is high but there are parts of the usa that are as bad or worse than third world countries. trie visiting some of those places and see if you feel safe and clean afterwards. no americans like to ignore the poor in this country and point to other places when they think of the impoverished. lets not help poor americans right? no they are just being lazy right? yeah so you keep thinking the usa has the best standard of living and when the poverty finally hits you in the face you will be the idiot saying i never thought it was that bad here...

      April 19, 2011 at 9:38 am | Reply
      • JWalk

        What specific part of the USA is a "third world country" as you say? Numbers and facts don't lie. Overall the US is the richest country in the world and has the highest standard of living – maybe not in the future, but as of right now it is. You can't look at one town or city that has some poor people in it and say that our whole country is a poor country with very low standards of living. Every place in this country is going to have some poor people, and there always will be. I would much rather live in the US than any other country in this world.

        April 19, 2011 at 10:49 am |
    • Sally Li

      Open your eyes. China is importing this tendency, as well as their tendency to shut everyone up, into the United States.

      April 19, 2011 at 11:59 am | Reply
    • everyone's problem

      Joan, almost every country in western Europe has a higher standard of living than the USA. Their jobs are protected as well as their wages and let's not forget the anti-American concept of vacation time. I work 60 hour weeks and haven't had a vacation since 2008. I am highly productive yet I know if I take time off, I will be replaced by omnipresent H1 visa-holding foreign nationals who would love to take my U.S. Ph.D.-level scientist job. As a result, the USA is a highly productive sweat shop with a decidedly lower standard of living than other, less productive places.

      April 19, 2011 at 12:08 pm | Reply
      • Jim

        I've lived in western Europe for 2 years and what you say is all lies.

        April 19, 2011 at 12:29 pm |
      • Norm

        It's very simple.
        Anyone that has a problem with the USA can simply leave.
        I have to assume that you haven't lived anywhere else in the world or you would be one of the millions trying to sneak into our country every year.
        Go live with the Mullahs and Cleric if you want to see how well off you are here.
        Those cavemen will straighten you right out.

        April 19, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
      • fightforwhat

        Remember your ancestors were also once migrants to this place. Earth is everyone's. Having said that I feel your pain and agree that there should be restrictions on H-1 numbers. But the only reason that is happening is because of poor population control procedures in those countries. They are already crowded with people and have no other option to get out of a crowded place to enjoy a better life.

        April 19, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
      • tonyl

        Almost everything in the western Europe is more expensive then USA. Higher standards, higher pay, higher prices for goods and services. But Americans believe in competition more then the quality then it gets to the lowest denominator. The answer slave labor from overseas or slave labor for services from immigrants. American people have to decide which path to take. That is the main reason for unemployment and will continue. No good jobs until we change our trade policies.

        April 19, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
    • Jim

      Finally some sense. Most people here don't realize it but the poorest people in america are almost always far better off than the poorest of other countries around the world. They just think this isn't the case because of liberal propaganda. We need to be thankful we live in this country. We can always improve and we need to; need to lead the rest of the world by example.

      April 19, 2011 at 12:28 pm | Reply
      • Sally Li

        Absolutely right. No public school will dare teach these truths of which you speak. They are too busy teaching fake history and wasting the money of taxpayers, and wasting the time of their students.

        April 19, 2011 at 12:42 pm |
    • WW

      The richest country in the world?! hahaha, sure
      With 14 billion USD in debt? Sure! The richest country!!
      Did you know that the country which owns most of your treasury bonuses is China!
      How sad to see you guys in US are living in a dream!!
      It is never too late to wake up

      April 19, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Reply
      • Norm

        You know what would be really hilarious???
        Watching China try to cash in someday.
        Now that would be funny.
        Sorry you live in a third world rat trap.
        Now get out of the way. There must be a long line of people waiting to use that computer.

        April 19, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
      • Tim

        While I have read many people complaining about the USA...We are still the Super Power and we still have the best thing going..Just ask Japan....IF people do not think we are the best and they are living here, get your ASS out and catch an airplane to some 3 rd world country...dang..I am a veteran of two conflicts...Stop your complaining..if South America and Mexico would get off their butts and get rid of the bad guys , with any means..MAYBE CALL US TO SEND SOME TANKS TO TAKE CARE OF BUISNESS and call MExico part of TEXAS...

        April 19, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
      • Justin

        @Tim: If there was some sort of government program that allowed me to fly to another country of my choosing I would SO do exactly what you said.

        America is one big, glorified sweatshop.
        We all just work to line someone else's pockets and spend all we make on food, shelter and things to distract us from that realization.

        And quite frankly, not everyone can save up enough money to fly internationally and start life over.
        If you have a good enough life to afford to leave, you probably don't want to.

        April 19, 2011 at 7:09 pm |
      • Bobby Rogers

        Sorry Norm, China does own 97% of the U.S.'s debt. And it is only growing each month/year. If you knew this before you would be so upset and "sick to your stomach". I encourage you to research this, because this is a very real situation. I took my financial portfolio and changed out all of my USA accounts and placed them in "Chinese stocks and commodities". Because China owns such a majority of USA's debt and the continuing "industrialization/modernization of China", my portfolio earns more in 3-4 months than I earn in 2-4 years working, It is now 700% higher than it was when I removed everything (from USA holdings) and went totally Chinese (and stocks in US companies that are doing all the improvements to infrastructure in China).
        To me, the "debt management" of our government is very, very serious.
        PLEASE research this Norm. We need to create a "get rid of national debt" revolution. If not, we will allow China to continue to "own us" in generations to come.
        to all those that think that Latin America is majority "2nd-3rd world countries", I will take you to 5 or 6 major cities in South and Central America that are "more 1st World" than NYC, LA, Atlanta, Chicago or any city that you may chose.
        The only problem that I see with that is:
        once you go there, you will never want to leave. All prices for everyday living and the perks of movies, nice restaurant, vacations to mountains or beaches, buying cars and real estate--everything you think of ---, at 50-80% of what you pay in the USA.
        When was the last time that you paid $1.50 to see a new movie or $3.00 for a nice steak dinner with salad, potato, and sides of vegetables. The beer will cost you 25-50 cents, $1.50 for mixed drink, milkshake/tea/coke for 50 cents, $200-400 a month rent. I could go on and on, but will not.
        Last, but not least............................
        The proper name of the continent that you live on, is the Americas. Yes, North, Central and South America are all in the Americas. Panama City, Panama is the "crossroads of America".

        April 30, 2011 at 12:27 pm |
  3. dame barbara viajatyria b.c.canada

    good foru.heroes.i know howmuch.

    April 19, 2011 at 3:11 am | Reply
    • WW

      America's national debt is exploding out of control, and still most politicians in Washington D.C. don't really seem that interested in doing anything about it. Why? Well, the truth is that if the U.S. government reduces government spending that will slow down the economy
      Meanwhile, the exploding debt continues to become a colossal long-term problem that threatens to destroy not only our economy, but our entire way of life. The federal budget deficit has topped $1 trillion with three months still to go in the current budget year. It is projected that the final budget deficit for 2010 will be somewhere in the neighborhood of 1.3 to 1.5 trillion dollars. But can we really afford to keep having deficits that are over a trillion dollars every single year?
      if the U.S. government does not make any changes it will be spending $2 trillion just for interest on the national debt by 2020
      Wake up!!

      April 19, 2011 at 12:50 pm | Reply
  4. sam

    I think CNN should conduct a similar story about the garment factories in Cambodia and Vietnam. Both the nation have serious issues as far as labor laws are concerned and I think we as a nation should boycott their products and break the chain of slavery.

    April 19, 2011 at 3:24 am | Reply
    • Coriolana

      Goodness me, the Gap would be in real trouble. And Abercrombie and Fitch couldn't produce their pre-teen slut uniforms. What are you thinking? (sarcasm entirely intended!)

      April 19, 2011 at 11:11 am | Reply
      • Ture...treu

        Won't somebody think of the children!!!

        April 19, 2011 at 11:48 am |
    • Sally Li

      CNN has done stories on this. There is a big difference between importing slavery into the USA, on the one hand, and building a factory in a very impoverished country which might have poor working conditions and chump change pay compared to what we would find in America, but which is probably the best economic prospect many of the people living in these countries have – and if these products are boycotted, and these factories close, the people who work in these factories will be in a lot of trouble, economically speaking. When measuring exploitation and pay, everything has to be compared to prevailing local conditions. It is a good idea to be informed about the working conditions in other countries – and many of these conditions are temporary – a rung upward on the ladder of prosperity.

      April 19, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Reply
  5. Ty

    It should also be acknowledged that this woman and many others were slaves in their native Bolivia. Why else would she leave with such a flimsy promise of employment that she had to enter the country illegally?

    April 19, 2011 at 3:33 am | Reply
    • John Galt

      I didn't read anywhere where she was a 'slave.' It was after a year that she 'could no longer take the conditions, and fled.' Slaves can't 'flee.' That's why they're called 'slaves.'

      And she and her husband entered the country illegally, by choice. Now, she's part of a socialist 'collective,' and talking about the hardships of 'slave' labor. The only captivity she knows is this: her brain is now slave to a collective mindset that kills individual spirit and pride.

      April 19, 2011 at 7:20 am | Reply
      • David

        Don't forget, she is still an illegal immigrant to Argentina. I wonder how much of their 'profits' they report.

        April 19, 2011 at 8:00 am |
      • Crispy

        @John Galt. You use socialist derisively. I'm just curious what is so much worse about her present situation as opposed to the one she was in? She was working 18hrs/day 7 days/wk for $25 a month. Now she is effectively a part owner in a new company making $4 an hour working 8 hours/day. Does she get complete control over all her business decisions/wishes? No, but at least she has some voice. The collective is run democratically. I wonder how many decisions she got to make before. I think we can safely say she wasn't able to make any decisions.

        April 19, 2011 at 8:35 am |
      • Jorge

        'Socialist collective"??? From your kneejerk reaction to the coping strategy of these hard-working poor folks who want nothing more that fair pay for their labor, one can only deduce that you are either:
        A) A old chickenhawk throwback from the Vietnam-to-Iran Contra era.
        B) A REALLY old throwback who has an altar to Joe McCarthy in a back room.
        C) A silent partner to one of those sleazy sweatshops.

        April 19, 2011 at 8:53 am |
      • ras

        socialist? Where the hell that come from?........You are so misinformed. Most of Europe is socialist, do your homework.

        April 19, 2011 at 11:36 am |
      • everyone's problem

        John, slaves can and do flee when conditions become bad enough. The consequences for failure are equally bad. This Bolivian refugee is like so many others in her country and she will perpetuate the very condition that drove her into her predicament: human overpopulation. When jobs < # of job seekers, stop having babies. The technology is effacious and cheap and could be made available if people realized they could shag for 1-5 years without the burden of new mouths to feed and they are just small rods inserted under the skin. No pills to take. Religion and machismo keep poverty alive and well. Endless growth is unsupportable everywhere on this planet. We can control ourselves now or face increasing economic and environmental disaster everywhere. The tide crossing US borders will not slow down until this happens and I'm horrified to look at LandSat images of Florida and seeing a Borg scene from Star Trek.

        April 19, 2011 at 12:17 pm |
    • bocagrande

      Amen to these two first replies. The media insists on the use of the word slavery – we could speculate the "whys" such as to sensationalize a story because the story just isn't really newsworthy on its own. Dear Brian Byrnes, Please find a dictionary and look up the definition of words before you use them! The bottom-line here is that for many generations now, Bolivians have felt forced to emigrate in order to find work and better opportunities because Bolivians can't run their own country properly – even worse with the current narco-government in place. Many go illegally to an array of countries – Argentina in this case. Because of her desperation, this woman ended up with this crappy job. It certainly sucks but it isn’t newsworthy. When she decided to leave, she did. This isn’t newsworthy in my opinion. From the headline to this article, I had visions of a kidnapped little kid found tied up in an attic, or a girl forced into the sex trade. This kind of writing does not inform folks. What it does do is insult their intelligence.

      April 19, 2011 at 8:41 am | Reply

        I absulutely agree with your post. My observation of the situation is that, the girl most likely is in much better position than she was in Bolivia, even at the $25 a month. I don't advocate slavery or taking advantage of people in dire need, however for the most part, these folks don't even realize the extent of their hardship until somenone from the mainstream points it out to them. They are mostly happy to have the $25 job and not back where they came from with no job. Again, I don't advocate for the abuse of less capable by those who are more capable, but often times that is the only chance of improvement for that individual.
        I am an immigrant, and had a job at the age of 12. That was not a negative experience for me, Perhaps I missed out on some child activities, but what was more important at that time, it provided the family with the means that it needed. Without some of those opportunities some families are in a much more dire situation. You must first survive before you can thrive.

        April 19, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
  6. Daniel

    yes USA has decent working standards, if you are legal. There are a lot of things going on along the border but in reality this issues are not directly created by Americans. My short experience tells me that explotation start inside the own comunities. Bolivians take Bolivians to Argentina to work in their sweatshops, and in Mexico/US border latinos take latinos into slavery. But we are also responsible for that, because when we buy products and we don't even care what is behind them, we become part of problem. US is the biggest consumer of goods from countries that do not have good labour rights, so we are part of the issue. I don't care if the slave work take place in the US, in Argentina or in China, I am not patriotic about it, I think we should care about stoping it around the world. Perhaps, it means you will be able to buy less t-shirts or shoes, or diamonds, but at least you know you won't be contributing to all kinds of problems. We need to support cooperatives and their products. I think it is great that CNN is bringing awareness about this. The movie Biutiful also brings up the topic...

    April 19, 2011 at 3:44 am | Reply
    • Sabine Bajinski

      There is a lot of support from Western countries, not just the US, on modern slavery/sweat labour, as everybody wants to buy cheap clothing (not to mention toys or electrical goods), our societies are obsessed with consuming and most of us buy a lot more than one needs. The consequences are modern slavery, greed and contributing to environmental disasters coursed by excessive farming to produce cheap food and products. What we need is more news coverage showing the exploitation of poorer countries, it’s people and their land, caused by our consuming behaviour. Perhaps we should vote for governments who are committed to allow poorer countries to get out of their financial depth – adding laws that items should be clearly labelled: where and how it was produced, and stop supporting expensive wars and supporting our economies by selling weapons to obvious regimes such as Syria. (only an example)

      April 19, 2011 at 6:44 am | Reply
    • GBush3

      Even worse than slave labour is that illegals near the Mexico border are being abducted, their organs taken, and their dead bodies dumped. Organ snatching is big business in the US where many wealthy patients can afford to buy organs for transplants, and either totally ignorant of where the orgfans come from, or refuse to know.

      April 19, 2011 at 7:38 am | Reply
    • Lilien

      I really like your comment.

      April 19, 2011 at 8:14 am | Reply
    • Jorge

      Decent working standards??? You must not live in one of the southern at-will states and be black or legal Hispanic...

      April 19, 2011 at 8:58 am | Reply
      • not just people of color

        Jorge, I'm caucasian and even blonde with blue eyes and I not only worked LEGALLY at the age of 13 for less than minimum wage but also worked for 2 years taking care of wealthy peoples' horses for $2/h where there was no drinking water or a toilet. Oh, I guess you don't have to be black or hispanic to be mistreated...damn, busted that theory. Believe me, greed is colorblind and will succeed wherever and whenever possible and that includes the people who pay and know and look the other way. My parents are included.

        April 19, 2011 at 12:25 pm |
    • Sally Li


      April 19, 2011 at 12:49 pm | Reply
  7. faris elkitab

    we want reports like that from sudan

    April 19, 2011 at 5:50 am | Reply
  8. Reg

    Nowhere in the article it says that the old oppressing "boss"/slave-trader has been caught or punished. Bad guys get away everytime it seems!? These anti-slavery agencies, noble as they are, only manage to help slow down slavery, but never have power to actually punish perpetrators. I guess that's difficult due to corruption and impotence of official agencies. It's terrible.

    April 19, 2011 at 6:27 am | Reply
    • celmira9

      This is exactly why disasters occur worldwide and people perish and suffer, but never learn. They continue to mistreat their fellow human beings. Man's inhumanity to man. No wonder people jump off bridges and drive into lakes, rivers, etc. No, I don't blame them. They are just tired of suffering in this world. The Argentinians believe they are superior human beings. Lot of pride and no money.

      April 19, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Reply
  9. Mikefunnyman

    Singapore and Malaysia have a combined 2 million workers from India and Bangladesh. Mostly labourers in the construction industry, these individual workers need to fork out US$5,000 to middlemen who will arrange travel documents, work, lodging and of course a decent salary to live on. After deducting a monthly repayment to these middlemen with prohibitive interest rates, these workers are left with practically nothing for themselves for 5 out of the 6 years they are employed. Now, here we have modern day slavery with the blessings of the countries that employ these people, all in the name of "helping" out these poor foreign workers who are exploited to the fullest.

    April 19, 2011 at 7:08 am | Reply
  10. Guest

    Do not expect legal treatment if you enter illegally. Two wrong do not make one right.

    April 19, 2011 at 8:33 am | Reply
  11. Guest

    A jump from ($25/7/18 or) 20 cent per hour to $4 per hour in a apparently perfect situation looks we a bit unrealistic.
    Pitiful, yes, but also: irresponsible start.

    April 19, 2011 at 8:35 am | Reply
  12. Jorge

    Argentineans are the worse type of snake-oil crooks you could possibly know in the business world. They are notorious in the Latin American community as being slicker than owl-sh!t.

    April 19, 2011 at 8:42 am | Reply
    • jaime

      I take exeptlion to that. I have witnessed some pretty unethical and borderline stealing from Jews.

      April 19, 2011 at 9:38 am | Reply
      • Coriolana

        Did that feel good? Does expressing your loathsome anti-semitism make you all tingly and warm?

        April 19, 2011 at 11:13 am |
    • patti

      Jorge...I guess that the part that DID NOT make the story is that most of these "sweat-shops" are owned by Asians (Koreans, Chinese mostly) and not Argentines!! I'm from Mendoza, Argentina and most of the Bolivians employed to pick grapes during the harvest ARE NOT treated like slaves: their kids get FREE education/medical care!! Why doesn't that make the news??

      April 19, 2011 at 10:00 am | Reply
  13. Simon

    I know for example that in many states including California & Hawaii, there are Thai restaurants and even Chinese restaurants that have their own nationals there that are illegals ... and hardly speaking at all in English and work for long hours for room and board and if they are lucky, the owner splits the daily tips with them.
    What I don't understand is why the INS hardly ever go in these restaurants and physically check?

    April 19, 2011 at 8:49 am | Reply
    • Sally Li

      Simon says something here that makes sense. Every State in the USA has the same situation, not just California and Hawaii. We have 40,000 kids who are being pushed out of the way, or pushed around, or neglected, in this context. And we have about 50,000 non-English speaking immigrant workers who are virtually kept as captives by these businesses.
      It doesn't seem like a major problem when you see it one person at a time, and when you just observe the situation for a
      brief flicker of a moment, but if you really look, you will realize that there IS a major problem here, and one to four people at a time, in each restaurant, in every small town and almost every city block, really begins to add up!

      April 19, 2011 at 12:54 pm | Reply
      • Al

        People working under these conditions are desparate and have no other means of staying alive and people like you want even that taken from these poor people. Shame on you!

        April 19, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
      • Sally Li

        Al – you are full of half-truths. The people who are unlawfully exploited and mistreated by these businesses may be better off in the USA than in their countries of origin, but that doesn't justify exploitation and illegal treatment of children in the United States, under American laws. We have layer upon layer of bureaucrats and elected officials whose job it is to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution (including the Thirteenth Amendment) and they are as asleep at the switch as certain people were on 9-11. And this brazen thumbing of the nose at American labor law, and manipulation of the system to give these exploiters and bribers a pass, is just as much a threat to our national security as what happened ten years ago as you will come to learn and understand someday.
        If the canary in the mine warns the miners, the last thing the miners should do is make fun of the canary, and ignore the warning.

        April 20, 2011 at 3:29 am |
  14. OtakuAnthony

    I understand slavery is a problem but it if occurs in other countries than our own, why do we get our arms up in the air about it. If their countries can't do anything about then, then we shouldn't bother trying to stop it. It's their problem not ours.

    April 19, 2011 at 9:32 am | Reply
    • Skicrazer

      Hey, if you want to support pseudo-slavery with your dollars, it's your choice. I don't, so am willing to spend a couple extra $$ (no, not 10's, but just a few more...) to buy clothing made by people who are treated in line with the US labor laws of the early 20th century. Remember that line, "all men are created equal?" Yeah, I still believe it, even in other countries.

      April 19, 2011 at 9:40 am | Reply
    • jaime

      Slavery was one of the major driving factors in the development of the US. The Alamo was fought for that same reason. Texans were prospering because of their slave labor and Mexican law prohibited slavery, hence the Alamo incident. But it has always been painted as a war of independence from Mexico in our textbooks of course.

      April 19, 2011 at 9:43 am | Reply
    • Elle

      Your house has many products made by slave labor. There are many, many millions of slaves in the world today. Many people don't realize this. Most all su gar is made by slaves or virtual slaves. Many pieces of clothing, I'm sure many in your own closet, are made by slaves. Slavery is also happening right now in the USA. We are doing things to try to stop it. Our country imports a lot of slave made goods. If we could have some type of certification that certain products are not made with slave labor consumers could help support free, paid workers. how can world wide slavery be stopped if people like you don't want to hear about it? You and I, as consumers who unknowingly are buying slave made products regularly should be educated about this so we can help end it. If we don't maybe slavery will continue to spread so that our children or grandchildren face the danger of becoming slaves. Slavery is spreading super fast right now.

      April 19, 2011 at 10:49 am | Reply
      • Sally Li

        Exactly. All the facts support you on this.

        April 19, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
    • enmotion

      It's our problem because our crumbing country is buying these products. Instead of having factories in OUR country we are buying cheap slave labor products. Open up your blind eyes and look around you! The rich is getting richer and the middle class is becoming poor. There will soon be no middle class at this rate.

      April 19, 2011 at 11:03 am | Reply
      • enmotion

        And no I'm not for slavery. I want to buy all AMERICAN made products but they are becoming obsolete.

        April 19, 2011 at 11:07 am |
  15. jaime

    Some states want a return to the sweatshop days by eliminating collective bargaining for state employess. It could spread into the private sector to make even greater profits for corporations.

    April 19, 2011 at 9:36 am | Reply
    • NotALemming

      95% of employed Americans are not union, and have no collective bargaining. I don't see any sweatshops anywhere. Your comment is stupid....

      April 19, 2011 at 10:01 am | Reply
      • oneSTARman

        The REASON you SEE no Sweatshops is because they are HIDDEN. Besides if your HEART is TWO SIZES TOO SMALL you don't LOOK.

        April 19, 2011 at 10:16 am |
      • Sally Li

        One STARman is right.

        April 19, 2011 at 12:58 pm |
    • Jim

      Quit spewing ignorance and trying to make the debate something it is not.

      April 19, 2011 at 12:17 pm | Reply
  16. Skicrazer

    Yes, she was an illegal immigrant in Argentina, and I am glad she got back to her legal home state. She should have denied the job offer once she realized she had to break the law. I'm sure they were starving in Bolivia, but that doesn't excuse dishonesty. Now, that she is legal again and working in a cooperative, good for her! I wish her company well.

    I do not mind the free trade agreements we have with the rest of the world, but I also believe this should be with the stipulation that US inspectors are allowed, and are required to, inspect the working conditions of those laborers taking the US labor jobs overseas. If the workers have respectable working and living conditions, then we continue doing business with them, but if not, we should end trade with them. I am not interested in the laborers in the US being dragged down to the have to compete with the "slave" living conditions of other nations who do not respect human rights. Believe me, if the US said, "we will not trade with your country until you fix the problem" those countries would jump. It won't be that way for much longer, with India and China growing, but for now, we can use our muscle and help improve living conditions world-wide...at least for those we support by buying the fruits of their labors.

    And, BTW, the Bolivian cooperative is not "socialism." Please, next time, use your brain and recognize capitalism when you see it. Socialism would have been the govt running the cooperative, but this was not the case.

    Signed, a GWB-supporting, right-wing conservative.

    April 19, 2011 at 9:37 am | Reply
    • A Greencard holder

      Socialism is NOT the government running the cooperative. You have got that completely backwards just like the rest of the country. A socialist society is organized on the basis of relatively equal power-relations, self-management, dispersed decision-making (adhocracy) and a REDUCTION or ELIMINATION of hierarchical and bureaucratic forms of administration and governance.

      April 19, 2011 at 10:15 am | Reply
    • Elle

      If your family were starving you would worry about being a legal or illegal immigrant when you had a job offer that would get you out of starvation? I highly doubt that. I think until you are in a position of not having enough to eat and not having enough to feed your small child you should not judge. I don't understand anyone reading about this and instead of being upset that *modern day slavery exists* and being angry at the slave owners they have to put in that dig about being anti-illegal immigration. You are human and so are they and you ought to care about their plight because of that.

      April 19, 2011 at 10:45 am | Reply
      • Skicrazer

        Sorry, Elle, I still don't believe that doing wrong – breaking the law – makes a right. Falsified passports and intentional deception are the wrong way to go.

        April 19, 2011 at 12:09 pm |
  17. jaime

    I dont understand that we are all for human rights when we bomb other countries and torture war prisoners. Not to mention imprisoning person suspected of being illegal aliens.

    April 19, 2011 at 9:47 am | Reply
    • Skicrazer

      each example you posted is for the purpose of good. generalities such as "bomb other countries" don't accomplish much unless you look at, and state the reason – "to liberate a people" "to defend ourselves from attack" "to punish those breaking the law" Those are all valid reasons to risk loosing lives, which the military does every day – the possible sacrifice of one for the good of the many. Otherwise, we would be living under Nazi rule...

      April 19, 2011 at 9:53 am | Reply
    • Justin

      Did you actually imply that America does ANYTHING about illegal immigration these days?

      They actually have it better than most people I know, simply by coming here and leeching off the system.
      In fact, some mexican illegals were allowed to testify anonymously in court anonymously (something legal citizens aren't allowed to do) just because they're illegal.

      If anything, any given teenager in america is 10x more likely to end up in jail on any given day (simply because it's not frowned upon for the police to harass them) than an illegal immigrant (who deserves it).

      April 19, 2011 at 7:37 pm | Reply
      • Sally Li

        Then support an end to public school property taxation, and privatization of public education. Anyone who wants their kid to have an American education ought to pay for it. This would end what is called the "immigration problem". What people are referring to as an immigration problem, is actually a TAX STRUCTURE PROBLEM. Immigration imbalances are the result of the tax structure problem, not an entirely autonomous problem in their own right. Half of the tax structure problem is our failed public education system. The other half of the tax structure problem involves Government favoritism toward tax shelters and tax dodges and other ruses which are commonly used by immigrant business cartels.

        April 20, 2011 at 3:35 am |
      • Kimberly


        April 26, 2011 at 8:07 pm |
  18. Ted

    We are so concerned about the rights of people in the middel east yet we look the other way when human rights are violated right here in the United States.I am against illegal immagration but shouldn't we clean up the abuses in our own country befor we try to clean up another.Every one talks about civil rights.Lets do somthing about HUMAN rights.

    April 19, 2011 at 9:51 am | Reply
    • oneSTARman

      We had an INSTITUTION of Slavery in THIS COUNTRY. Now they just call the Slaves 'Associates' at places like Walmart.

      April 19, 2011 at 10:14 am | Reply
  19. NotALemming

    The pay may be lousy and the working conditions horrible; but if the lady in the story is recieving pay, was given the choice to take the job in the 1st place, and has the option to leave, this isn't "slavery". It is irresponsible for the author of the story to use that word.

    April 19, 2011 at 9:59 am | Reply
    • Elle

      If you have to 'flee' then that's slavery. If you can't leave, that's slavery. You may have a job and I would guess if you decided to leave it you wouldn't have to 'flee.'

      April 19, 2011 at 10:52 am | Reply
    • Coriolana

      When 'quitting' a job means 'escaping', it's slavery. Stop trying to fight with semantics.

      April 19, 2011 at 11:09 am | Reply
  20. oneSTARman

    Oppressive Working Conditions for just enough money to barely survive. Living in Fear from cruel Bosses that use your desperation for Survival for you and your Family to work long hours while being bullied and derided – WELCOME TO AMERICA – as John Lennon sang, "You think your'e so classless and Free but your all PEASANTS as far as I can See.

    April 19, 2011 at 10:12 am | Reply
    • Jim

      The words of an ignorant person. Note I didn't say stupid. Put this in perspective and imagine the conditions you percevie to exist in the US, then multiply them by 10,000 and you will arrive at what is happening in other countries around the world. Have you ever lived anyhwere else? On an income typical of those people? You'd find a person making minimum wage in the US has it easy. You'd find people in these other countries don't have running water, heat, ac, cell phones, things the poorest americans simply take for granted. Shall I go on?

      April 19, 2011 at 12:21 pm | Reply
      • Christoph

        Yes, do go on.

        It's easy to say things like that when you assume everyone in america can find a job these days.
        The only way to get a job if you're a citizen is to have a degree (notice I didn't say 'education', as how intelligent you are, your skill level at the job, etc. is nothing if you lack that piece of paper) or to simply be lucky, in which case you still won't be making enough for a good life.

        The reason this system fails is that the educational system is ALSO being killed by all of these illegals, coming here and expecting our schools to teach the spanish kids in spanish and force the english-speakers to learn spanish as well.
        Obviously nobody with any amount of pull in the educational sector realizes that when you REWARD backwards thinking (like the "I came to your country, now learn my language" mentality) the sentiment is the same as giving fat people handicap parking, protecting drug addicts from getting fired for their addiction, etc.

        Not to mention it's like punishing the kids who speak english, and not asking anything of spanish speakers.

        April 19, 2011 at 7:49 pm |
      • Sally Li

        Christoph, you are right about the public education system. By definition, the tax structures involved in it are the #1 factor in encouraging aggressive immigration in order to take advantage of a public benefit which we guarantee under a system which is essentially run by a Communist philosophy. The American educational system would be ten times better if we were to reduce taxpayer funding, and require that the costs for each child educated in America be borne by the father, the mother, the father's family, the mother's family, the guardian, the mentor, or the donor, in that order – and the taxpayer would be last on the list, if at all. The public education system we have now is based on responsibility without authority, and management without accountability, and authority without responsibility. Thus it encourages profligate fatherhood, violence, an unhealthy obsession with sports and athletes, the degradation of culture, and a general demographic swarming attack against the ethnic groups who are stuck with the bill. Look at the anti-American version of history these public educators have been pushing, and you will see the ideological counterpart of the anti-American public school financing structure. Hundreds of thousands of excellent teachers who have dedicated their lives to teaching in this rotten and corrupt system know that it is broken beyond repair, and stands in the way of educational excellence, and harms taxpayers as a class, irreparably. The word ABOLISH ought to come to mind whenever public education is mentioned.

        April 20, 2011 at 12:44 pm |
  21. D-Man

    So – buy a shirt from the website linked to the article. Easy way to make a difference in someones life right now.

    April 19, 2011 at 10:21 am | Reply
  22. Joshua

    What I wonderis what brands have this kind of slavery so I wont buy them.

    April 19, 2011 at 10:24 am | Reply
  23. Chrissy

    Does anyone know how to find out which clothes are not made in sweatshops? I would love to know. Does anyone know which retailers sell sweatshop free clothing and which ones don't?

    April 19, 2011 at 10:29 am | Reply
  24. Chrissy

    Workers should pull together and create more work collectives like these. Maybe we should try this in the US as well. Then maybe the greedy fatcats couldn't send our jobs overseas!

    April 19, 2011 at 10:31 am | Reply
  25. Dick Hertz

    Why should Americans be slaves for the Brown Invasion?

    April 19, 2011 at 10:34 am | Reply
  26. Sam

    The question in my mind is: who was she making clothing for? Old Navy? Nike? H&M? I

    April 19, 2011 at 10:37 am | Reply
  27. MannyHM

    Actually the authorities know about these sweatshops. They are paid not to make arrests (or do so in a limited way to make themselves look good). One of the solutions is that employers should submit the salaries to the government and the government hands the money to the employees. This will prevent employers cheating the employees. We assume here that the government officials are not corrupt though. Buy only what you need. Buy local if possible and with quality.

    April 19, 2011 at 10:51 am | Reply
  28. DangNoChain

    Where did she break the chain???
    She was lucky to get away form the forced slavery... But, I guess, the others are still getting stuck in the chains.

    April 19, 2011 at 10:57 am | Reply
    • Doyle

      That is right, dear. There's always another slave shop just around the corner. I think that if those who are caught running slave shops and were convicted of the crime had to face capitol punishment foe it, we would see less shops like that. A slave shop is one of the lowest things that a person can do to another. More focus needs to be put on catching the responsible ones.

      April 19, 2011 at 5:03 pm | Reply
  29. Matt

    Slavery is not an economic condition unless it is defined as such. The classic definition of slavery is that it is a political condition wherein one has no recognition of their human rights to the point that they are fairly characterized as being the legal property of another. That 'other' can be the state itself, such as the ghilman (ghulam) system of the old Ottoman Empire, or it can be like the slavery of Rome, Greece, or the US, wherein individuals could own other individuals. Under that system, people have no human rights and can be beaten to death or worked to death or made to live in whatever conditions the master wants, all without legal recriminations. Now that is true slavery.

    What is being described herein is not slavery. It is in fact large-scale fraud and worker exploitation. Does it feel like slavery to those who are having it done to them? Yes, and I don't deny how horrible that is. What I do deny is that we are seeing actual slavery. We are instead seeing something that looks and feels a lot like it. The key difference here is that for actual slaves, there is no recourse under the law or under the moral system of the day. With what is happening here, there is both: it is both considered illegal based on a lot of other laws that do not allow worker exploitation, and there is moral recourse provided by the rest of the society around those being exploited. That is a HUGE difference and I think it needs to be recognized. For people to insist that the world has not come a long way in recognizing the concept of fundamental human rights to dignity and to live without the fear of being taken into slavery is not right, since that is not right.

    April 19, 2011 at 11:07 am | Reply
  30. phil white

    If we all paid a little more for stuff we wouldn't need immigrant slave labor. And another up side would be white children could have a future in this country.

    April 19, 2011 at 11:10 am | Reply
    • victimsadvo

      Might help if people stopped following the latest fashion trends every season & would just be happy with last years wardrobe. Keeping up with the Joneses, living in a throw away society, and always needing the latest & greatest leads to poverty in more ways than one...

      April 19, 2011 at 12:17 pm | Reply
  31. bnakka

    I don't get it. The article clearly states Mrs. Velasquez and her family used counterfiet documents to get Argentina to make a living. I know they are not the most educated but if you can't spot a sham you don't know much. I understand in desperation to feed themselves people commit to things they don't understand. Don't for once think that people would go out of their way to accomodate someone with work. Everyone is out there to make a quick profit and when I hear stories like this I can only think illiteracy is the cause for all this.

    End of the day Shut down one slave shop another will spring with a whole new slew of enslaved laborers, has the world been able to fight prostitution and pimps? In desperation people commit to things that are very dire in nature.

    April 19, 2011 at 11:10 am | Reply
  32. Julie

    Sam...that was my exact sentiment as well. I only wish that the reporters "Brian Byrnes and Dan Rivers, CNN" Had explicitly spelled out what clothing companies support these sweat shops. We can however, put 2 & 2 /2gether and surmise. Please always look for Made in USA labels. Yes they are a rare sight, but they do exist. Don't be fooled though, USA is exempt from slave employment in the garment industry! There are plenty of sweat shops right in LA etc. Let's all stop turning a blind eye and stop supporting these cheesy clothing stores associated with such practices i.e. WalMart, Old Nave, Gap, Target, all of it. Pay more it you can. Go to privately owned boutiques. I have and never will buy from WalMart or Old Navy. As a matter of fact, I get physically ill, virtually, from the smell of China and slave labor in the air!
    Please, we are all smarter than seeking out the cheapest product. We are reponsible for this thriving industry. If you support it, they will come. These people will still me mislead and mistreated. Don't not be disillusioned or ignorant "modern-day-slavery" still existis and will continue too. There is plenty we can do. Just mere awareness can conquer some issues.

    April 19, 2011 at 11:11 am | Reply
  33. Julie

    Look for this documentary. You will see first hand what goes on right here under our noses!
    "Made in L.A." takes the viewer through the lives of three Latina immigrant sweatshop workers in L.A., who fight the exploitative conditions of the garment industry. They fight relentlessly for three years against the clothing retailer Forever 21 to win basic labour protection like unpaid and overtime wages from the company. In the process, with the help of the Garment Labour Center, these women are transformed from invisible, undocumented women workers into strong, empowered women who take charge of their lives and destinies and emerge as winners, united in their struggle.
    One of the compelling moments in the film is when Lupe, one of the three workers, visits the Tenement Museum during the national campaign against Forever 21, and hears that the term’ sweatshops’ was used for the first time in 1897 to describe the conditions in which poor immigrants were forced to work out of poverty. She realizes that nothing has changed until the present day and sweatshops still have the same conditions. She comes back energized to tell her brothers and sisters in the struggle the importance of organizing, and joins the centre as an organizer herself soon afterwards.
    Because of the many layers of employment relationship in the garment industry supply chain, it is difficult to pin responsibility on the retailer for the conditions of the factory workers at the bottom of the chain. Yet in this documentary, we can see workers winning a lawsuit against the company in a groundbreaking decision reached in court which states that the systematic use of sweatshops by retail companies is punishable by law.
    This film is a powerful visual tool to show unions and workers how a small team of determined workers emerged victorious after three long years of struggle against a powerful fashion house in the US, and highlights the importance of organizing, perseverance for their rights and the power of being united.

    April 19, 2011 at 11:16 am | Reply
  34. mako

    This is the GOP at work for you, human haters, anti-American jackwagons

    April 19, 2011 at 11:17 am | Reply
    • bnakka

      Could you explain or you just an ignorant guy who thinks republicans also control policies in Argentina?

      April 19, 2011 at 11:18 am | Reply
      • Elizabeth

        The businesses who support off-shore banking and other tax loopholes own the sweat shops. Some in "American" territories. It isn't just a story about Argentina, but many many places around the world. If G.E. earned 2/3 of its (non-taxed) profits outside of the U.S.A. (nor did they pay taxes here either), where else did they earn their money, and how? Every business like that is just playing the slave game somewhere else.

        April 19, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
  35. Julie

    March 25th marked the 100 year anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire, New York’s landmark industrial disaster that killed 146 of the factory's 500 employees, most of them young immigrant women and girls of Italian and European Jewish descent. The tragedy sparked a nationwide debate about workers rights, representation and safety. One hundred years later and what has really changed? The same injustices are ignited continuously. Women have and will continue to be exploited, unless we all unite and bring awareness to this insanity. We are better than this.

    April 19, 2011 at 11:21 am | Reply
    • Fartman

      Cram it!

      April 19, 2011 at 11:32 am | Reply
    • Elizabeth

      I hope and pray that we are better than this. Some people sitting in front of their computers have no clue as to the suffering of those who work beyond exhaustion so that they can have their jeans, shoes, cell phones, etc. They sneer at people who do their work for them. Right here on this message board, there are people who I suspect abuse their employees. They do not care about the freedoms this country is supposed to stand for.

      April 19, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Reply
  36. Ty

    Forgive what might seem a little harsh, but again I have to state that while I have no problem with any group forming and as running a commune, I do have a problem with them doing so illegally in another country. Let's not forget these "slaves" weren't whisked away like Africans were and are still. While these Bolivians are enjoying their new found freedom, they aren't helping to pay for things the greater community has to: the commons such as upkeep of roads and law enforcement. And CNN: who are they making their clothes for? Are you sure their modest but quite decent wages are given them by simply sowing? I'm a bit skeptical of that for I've seen many illegals payed and used as union protest fodder first hand. To make it short, are you sure they aren't also "piqueteros"?

    April 19, 2011 at 11:24 am | Reply
  37. Matt

    "Let's not forget these "slaves" weren't whisked away like Africans were and are still."

    Cite this assertion, please. Are ships still headed to Africa to collect slaves and bring them back in boatloads to be auctioned off here in the New World?

    Really folks, distinctions need to be made here. There's worker exploitation and fraud, then there's actual slavery. Appealing to imagery that is over 100 years old and coming to us from a different time isn't helping reflect the truth of things today. It dilutes matters and causes people to get false impressions, or worse still, gives them a reason to dismiss the actual problem by pointing out that indeed, we are not living in the Age of Slavery. A new Age of Fraud and Exploited Worker Trafficking? Yes. Slavery? No.

    April 19, 2011 at 11:35 am | Reply
    • Ty

      The Arab slave trade in Africa. Slavery in Sudan by people the Islamic north. I think I, like you, have the power to distinguish between real slavery and CNN labeled slavery.

      April 19, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Reply
      • Elizabeth

        Ty lies.

        April 19, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
    • Elizabeth

      That's like the difference between a Martyr and Confessor. A Martyr might have been beheaded. A Confessor was only tortured, even if he died later of the torture. Which would you rather be, exploited (tortured) or enslaved (chained)? Have a penitential Holy Week.

      April 19, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Reply
      • HolierThanElizabeth?

        Yeah, I'll pray to become as holy as thou...

        April 19, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
      • Sally Li

        Your words make sense, and are informative to all who have an ear to hear them. Anyone who listens to you will learn something useful and interesting.

        April 20, 2011 at 3:39 am |
  38. JimBob

    JimBob broke a band saw at work and had to pay for it. This article doesn't say if they had to pay for the chains that they broke..

    April 19, 2011 at 11:50 am | Reply
  39. Apeasant

    No empire lasts forever. Everyone should brush up on their Chinese =D

    April 19, 2011 at 11:54 am | Reply
  40. victimsadvo

    If you want to talk about slave labor CNN, why don't you go to Asian countries were workers are often locked in the factory that has bars on the windows so they can't get out. I have heard horror stories of workers being chained to their work stations & not allowed to leave the premises even when their shift ended. Check on these allegations. This is true slavery, not just poor people that are desperate and being taken advantage of.
    Slavery is when a human being is forced to become the property of another human being. A slaves whereabouts are closely controlled and monitored. The slave is forced to work by threats, physical violence, and the necessities of survival. A slave is not free to leave or terminate the terms of their living or working conditions. They are bound to stay in the conditions set by their master by force and law in some instances.
    Be careful what you label as slavery lest you dilute the meaning and seriousness of this word.

    April 19, 2011 at 11:57 am | Reply
    • Elizabeth

      Seriously, you are diluting it: every case of slavery is slavery; some much worse than others. There is more slavery now than ever in world history, and it is all over the world. If you shift your focus only to one place, it is easy for the slavers to get away with it some place else.

      April 19, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Reply
      • Sally Li

        Elizabeth, you are right again. It is a semantic trick to say that simply because a situation in the 21st century, which may involve cellphones and airline flights, does not resemble in every detail the stereotypical version of 19th century American South slavery to be found in Uncle Tom's Cabin, that it is "not slavery." The definition of slavery in the US Constitution is very simple – two words: "involuntary servitude." According to the law of the land in America, anything in America which fits that definition is slavery.

        April 20, 2011 at 3:43 am |
    • victimsadvo

      Elizabeth you are confusing exploitation of workers with slavery just as CNN is sensationalizing the issue of worker exploitation and co-mingling it with human trafficking & slavery to make a larger headline. To do this takes away from the true horrors of real slavery. Do you not see how little sympathy this woman has from many posters on this blog. Because she broke the law to sneak into another country and adds to the labor woes of many unemployed Argentineans many American workers have little care for her struggle. If CNN would have spun the story as one of worker exploitation than more people would care because many of us have been under payed, over worked, & taken advantage of by our employers. CNN is not helping to stop true slavery by diluting it with stories of exploited workers. CNN is also not helping exploited workers by spinning stories into something they are not.

      April 19, 2011 at 6:26 pm | Reply
  41. RY

    Maybe, just maybe if she did not use fake IDs, she would not end up in that situation. These people, including ones in the US, put themselves into position of exploitation by using fake documents.

    April 19, 2011 at 12:07 pm | Reply
    • Elizabeth

      How fake are our own documents? We pay a fortune for the "piece of paper" that says we have a "degree," in secretarial skills? There are plenty of degree-mill scams, just as there are plenty of scams that the immigrants deal with. The worst scam is that higher education in America costs a fortune: try showing up at a state college and saying that you are a citizen and resident of that state and want a free education. They will laugh at you, or call in security. But it amounts to the same thing: we are all "illegal aliens" within our own country, as long as this isn't OUR country.

      April 19, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Reply
      • AAA

        You're nuts.

        April 19, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
  42. Ready Writer

    All you criminals are dead in the water and in the fire. There is absolutely no hope for you.Even though your meger mere minds self deceives itself by its pityful proclamations and selfindulgancingself destructive mental states.Go on mere man factions, having nothing to do with what is logically GODLY, until you ultimately self irraticate. Meger royal feces is all you will ever be until you change your stupid ways and embrace this part of POWER REALLITY.

    April 19, 2011 at 12:07 pm | Reply
  43. Jerome

    Auschwitz, Sobibor, Treblinka and Belzec will be opening soon.

    April 19, 2011 at 12:16 pm | Reply
    • Elizabeth

      Our U.S. Constitution allows concentration camps. How? For anything other than being a criminal defendant: "society" is the only entity that has rights. A crime victim is only a "witness" to their own crime for the real victim: "society." Therefore, if you have a large number of victims, each one would only be a "witness," and therefore, nobody would be charged with a crime against them. (Look it up.) You can lock up anybody; as the under-age prostitute slaves who are not called victims of child molestation, but criminals themselves, in America. The difference between the 1940s Nazis and the Nazis today is that the modern ones are private enterprises.

      April 19, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Reply
      • Wow

        If I were your head I'd dump my brain and go looking for something that could be an improvement on the old one– say, a cauliflower! I have been reading your babbling diatribe here and all I can say is, you need remedial assistance in your thinking and related cognitive skills. You must have had a public education someplace in West Virginia or perhaps Alaska. Holy crap, what a poor indictment of our education system!

        April 19, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
  44. RuleOfApathy

    Eliminating slavery is as unattainable a goal as trying to eradicate organized religion without first eliminating the contributing factors such as illiteracy, destitution and ignorance.

    April 19, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Reply
    • As long as...

      ... there is a demand for 'labor' there will be slavery. It's not about eliminating Man's evil habits. It's about eliminating the need Man has for the things Man has a need for. There will be no time in the foreseeable future where the need for labor is not in demand. Without the rule of law that forbids worker exploitation/slavery winning out over circumstance, slavery in this or whatever form will be with us. Get used to it. Oh, you can make it a persistent aim to stop it but just as with the goal of making the human race free from intoxicants, get used to dedicating your life to a cause that will never be fulfilled.

      April 19, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Reply
  45. Brad

    I find it ironic that the illegal is complaining about illegal activities. She did the right thing in reporting this, but at the same time, she forged documents and lied to get into that country. She should go to jail just as the sweat shop owners should go to jail. I understand she is only trying to make a better life for herself, but what about that countries citizens, what makes her more important then them? They should have first pick, they build that country, not this illegal woman. No, sorry, I have no sympathy for her. She per her family in that situation, lied, broke laws, and put other natives of that country out of work. That is the problem I have with illegals, all they do is drain the country they invade, the give absolutly nothing back. Legal immigrants, while they don't give much back, there offspring do, they contribute, illgeals don't, and they need to be kicked out.

    April 19, 2011 at 12:23 pm | Reply
    • Elizabeth

      You can kick out the immigrants if you like, but it won't get one single job for an untrained American. We have to pay the cost of a house for higher education; in other countries higher education is free. Healthcare is free. You can even get help for children after school for free. Come on: we need JOBS JOBS JOBS, not more scapegoats.

      April 19, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Reply
      • Sally Li

        Right, but we cannot have our politicians legislating out of both sides of their mouths any longer. We are going to have to make some tough decisions. First, we need to abolish our minimum wage laws, at least during the summer months, to provide entry-level opportunities into the economy. By stiffening minimum wage laws, we make certain categories of voluntary servitude increasingly illegal – which in turn causes involuntary servitude to rush into the vacuum. When we consign millions of Americans to the status of hard-core unemployed due to minimum wage laws, immigrant labor rushes in to fill the vacuum. And when we try to enforce these minimum wage laws on places which employ legal immigrants, we encourage illegal immigration to the same converse extent.

        April 20, 2011 at 3:49 am |
  46. Robert

    Mexicans are not taking over how come there killing each other? losers!!

    April 19, 2011 at 12:35 pm | Reply
  47. desi

    When creativity goes down in a culture so goes the freedom!

    April 19, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Reply
  48. Ready Writer

    "EYE WILL... SURVIVE!!!"

    April 19, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Reply
  49. Ready Writer


    April 19, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Reply
  50. Ready Writer

    YOU HAVE TO KNOW HOW AND WHERE TO SHOOT. unless you are the sissy type that faints at that peak moment or you just love wellfare to piss and shit and breed some more because you are being oppressed by almighty nations with their own unGODLY agendas. INQUIRING MINDS PROPERLY PERCEIVE.

    April 19, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Reply
  51. Annexian

    We've got to treat this for what it is: A WAR against humanity. Class warfare on a world-wide scale. Using one group of people to impoverish another to enslave them both.

    We should in America:

    1. Get RID of illegals by targeting their employers. Hopefully we can just lobby and pester and use legal means at the LOCAL level to do this. I'll leave that conversation here.
    2. End "Tax breaks and subsidies" to companies that export jobs. Re-instate Tariff.

    Right now, the rich elite feed off of economic plans equivalent to punching a hole in a dam to power an 'extra' tiny paddle wheel generator. Costs the real generator 9 parts for every 1 part they STEAL and threatens the structure. Should be considered fraud, if not treason.

    Make stuff in America for Americans. I'm all for "Foreign Trade" but not the "Global Sweatshop". If some pig still wants to make shoes outside the USA with a barefoot girl chained to a post in the floor, well let those shoes cost as much + 25% as ones made by an American in a lawfully run factory in America.

    You "Right Wingers" should be for this at this stage.

    1. This would drive wages higher with NO need for unions or wage laws. It's called "The Law of Supply and Demand". They want to do business inside the USA, let them make things inside the USA. The worker then can bargain with his labor/skills without unfair competition from desperate people and areas where laws (think it's OK to use deadly pet food filler and not tell you?) aren't enforced.
    2. Right now, outside winning the lottery and being rich for a few years, you ain't never gettin' rich. Unless you dropped from the right dam. They got the markets LOCKED to their advantage. Doing my proposal would make a lot of them drop, and a lot of us rise. If you really have the "Up by your bootstraps" you've got a better chance of getting rich this way. If you think you can be "Elevated" by kissing up tho-

    April 19, 2011 at 12:59 pm | Reply
    • Elizabeth

      Buying local is better for a lot of reasons. But make sure it is local, and still not a sweat-shop. There are sweat shops on island territories of the U.S., and legally they can say, "Made in U.S.A." on the labels. Remember that a Republican owned one of those places? There are similar sweat shops in some U.S. big cities. We need real affordable (try free) education for Americans, and real jobs here. What people also don't know is that a lot of this work is already done by robots; there is no excuse for a company to say it can't afford to hire people.

      April 19, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Reply
    • Tiff

      We sooooo need to stop these so called "free trade" agreements we have with all these countries.. All that has happened since they started was American's lost their jobs and we have products that fall apart.. I can barely give my kids hand me down clothes anymore.. they just don't last! If a company wants to import anything to the USA there needs to be a tarrif that is equal to or more than what it would cost if an American worker made it here..

      April 19, 2011 at 2:27 pm | Reply
    • Sally Li

      The barn door to our political system is locked, too – thanks to campaign finance laws. You refer to tariffs. Tariffs were the main tax revenue source of the United States for the first decades of America's existence as an independent country. These tariffs worked to create a protective environment for budding American industries. The Smoot-Hawley tariff which preceded the Great Depression, and which helped to cause it, was too high – but that doesn't mean that tariffs are bad. Canada has a system for protecting Canadian music which works in some ways like a tariff – and the Canadian music industry is alive and well, while the American recording industry is dead.

      April 20, 2011 at 3:54 am | Reply
  52. Phill Olivier

    There need to be more people who are willing to stand up for injustices being done to them and those around them. Sweat shops are alive and thriving all over the globe. Why? Because the people who work there believe they have no other option. Theres always an option.

    April 19, 2011 at 1:09 pm | Reply
  53. Ready Writer

    To the commentator who mentioned ignorance,there are those who feed on ignorance. Are you one of those RATS ?

    April 19, 2011 at 1:15 pm | Reply
  54. Ready Writer

    To the commentator who mentioned, "ignorance",there are those who feed on ignorance. Are you one of those RATS ?

    April 19, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Reply
  55. florida gal

    We should stop and consider all factors before making a judgement. She was probably better off im sure the factory boss made sure she was fed. Yes slavery is wrong but at least she was given some money.

    April 19, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Reply
    • Tiff

      You are heartless.. I'd sooner sleep on a street with my child then be subjected to working 18 hours a day with little to no breaks and force my kids to sit under my desk with no school or play time. AND THEN we still dont go home to a bed.. we sleep on the floor at the factory.. why dont you try sleeping on your living room floor for a week and then tell me this is ok

      April 19, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Reply
  56. Billy Idol

    I'm all out of hope
    One more bad dream could bring a fall
    When I'm far from home
    Don't call me on the phone
    To tell me you're alone
    It's easy to deceive
    It's easy to tease
    But hard to get release

    Les yeux sans visage eyes without a face
    Les yeux sans visage eyes without a face
    Les yeux sans visage eyes without a face
    Got no human grace your eyes without a face.

    I spend so much time
    Believing all the lies
    To keep the dream alive
    Now it makes me sad
    It makes me mad at truth
    For loving what was you

    Les yeux sans visage eyes without a face
    Les yeux sans visage eyes without a face
    Les yeux sans visage eyes without a face
    Got no human grace your eyes without a face.

    When you hear the music you make a dip
    Into someone else's pocket then make a slip.
    Steal a car and go to Las Vegas oh, the gigolo pool.
    I'm on a bus on a psychedelic trip
    Reading murder books tryin' to stay hip.
    I'm thinkin' of you you're out there so
    Say your prayers.
    Say your prayers.
    Say your prayers.

    Now I close my eyes
    And I wonder why
    I don't despise
    Now all I can do
    Is love what was once
    So alive and new
    But it's gone from your eyes
    I'd better realise

    Les yeux sans visage eyes without a face
    Les yeux sans visage eyes without a face
    Les yeux sans visage eyes without a face
    Got no human grace your eyes without a face.
    Such a human waste your eyes without a face
    And now it's getting worse.

    April 19, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Reply
  57. reality

    unbelievable how many folks will defend these slave labor companies. I guess just so they get their new ipad, bmw,and big house, it makes it ok.

    April 19, 2011 at 1:30 pm | Reply
  58. Ready Writer

    You ridiculas rambler.you are the lowest speceis.

    April 19, 2011 at 1:33 pm | Reply
  59. Ready Writer


    April 19, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Reply
  60. Ready Writer

    I will continue to see recompence on their heads ane their heads of heads.In the name of the highest order.

    April 19, 2011 at 1:43 pm | Reply
  61. SiCkMiNd

    Wow Sally....I'm aroused.

    April 19, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Reply
  62. Elizabeth

    Buyers of slave-made goods are also damaged. Have you noticed that it is much harder to pay your bills when you buy these? That is because God knows. If you pay the fair price for a few nice things, you will have money in the bank to meet your debts. That's how it works. Neglect of a country's laws are all our shared responsibility. This is the history of "Purgatory:" not as a place to punish individual sins, but the sins of lack of charity, or of adultery, or of stealing from or enslaving the poor, that a king does; because any territory within the jurisdiction of a king or elected leader that does some evil is under the ban of excommunication, and that mean that all will suffer. Europe called it "Purgatory" (originally a pilgrimage for the living), but it is actually hell. For those who do not believe in hell, at least test this: buy only from good businesses, and see if you feel a little better about yourself. Buy only from businesses who pay their taxes, do not abuse their workers, ship from nearby locations if possible, and do not foreclose or otherwise harm others. If you don't get the "feelgood" moment from this, at least your town, state, or country will, because suddenly your whole country will be less impoverished. Have a spiritually enriching Holy Week.

    April 19, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Reply
    • Tiff

      The religion talk aside, you make a good point.. buying local will save your town, state, and this country.. we need to buy fromour neighbors.. not the ones across foreign borders

      April 19, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Reply
      • Big~Smelly~Tuna

        Yes ~ Yes ~ let's enforcer and die for these arbitrary and invisible lines put across Earth by greedy slave owning despots of hundreds of years ago.

        April 19, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
  63. Ready Writer

    I will prey the vile and the doomed until they and theirs are swiftly obliterated.Do you fall in that category? COWARDS !

    April 19, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Reply
  64. herrsonic

    Her first mistake was forging documents and entering Argentina illegally.

    April 19, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Reply
  65. Hisarrow

    I would be a little more sympathetic is she hadn't broken several laws to sneak into Argentina in the first place.

    April 19, 2011 at 2:07 pm | Reply
  66. silf

    $4 an hour?! Jeez, that's so crazy! I think that those workers should get paid more mulah. Dwight Howard plays basketball exquisitely for a whole bunch of money, I'm sure he would not want to do it for $4 an hour! Let's get these people some real jobs! Come to the USA, although I'm not sure you guys will find a job really fast, I bet it would pay a lot more. Because we have a minimum wage! I want to help Maria, she sounds so great! Today is a good day to help people. But everyday is a good one, too! Don't forget that, Jack! heehee

    April 19, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Reply
    • Tiff

      You have to consider what the cost of living is in Argentina.. Its a great deal less than it is here so her $4 goes about what $10 or more would here.

      April 19, 2011 at 2:14 pm | Reply
  67. Tiff

    Man.. for all the arguing a simple solution can be found. Buy local, learn to sew, and educate yourself as to where your products come from. If there were not a market for these goods produced in the sweat shops then they would go out of business and stop.

    Yes, during FDR we had rampant abuses of children in the job market. It was still in the Great Depression era and people were doing what ever they could to survive and the big businesses exploited it.. just as they are now in this global economic depression.

    April 19, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Reply
  68. GEM

    Once more, discussion of the topic at hand has devolved into a hateful, childish, ignorant rant-fest. This is why corruption and wars continue. Instead of being constructively involved in opposing slave labor, the idiots who are tragically challenged in formulating a relevant thought spew forth ignorant reactions to intelligent statements they don't comprehend. We are all human beings, no matter where we live, and we have a responsibility to help each other. Don't think these situations can't happen to you!

    And what's up with the Billy Idol lyrics???!!!!

    April 19, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Reply
  69. coque

    Please stop labeling people. We all have to live in this world together and make everyone live in world that is liveable for everybody. Instead of fighting and feeling comptent for each other. Stop arguing. It does not fix anything. You want to do the right thing. get up go to work, Be productive, do not let anybody put you down unless you say so. teach you children right from wrong. Teach them the value of money, of respect for one another, teach them to love, responsiblity and civility. WE ALL HAVE TO LIVE and make a living for other and the next generation. Let get to work in peace and let us get everybody doing what is right.

    April 19, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Reply
    • Big~Smelly~Tuna

      PCP or just good weed?

      April 19, 2011 at 2:22 pm | Reply
  70. Big~Smelly~Tuna

    "If it is not Made in America it is not in my stores." Sam "SneakyPete" Walton

    April 19, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Reply
    • cat

      Oh my, how times have changed...
      I haven't set foot in a Wal-Mart in about 3 years, but I believe that Sam Walton NEVER anticipated the slave labor/poverty Mecca his legacy has become...

      April 19, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Reply
  71. KenX

    Funny how the story is about South America yet the first two main comments on the story distract to America and China. It is not even the subject of the article.

    It seems odd that the traffickers would promise $200 a month and pay $25. If you are going to do this to them, why pay at all? And she did flee so it sounds like getting away was not a problem. A real slave cannot get way.

    April 19, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Reply
    • Big~Smelly~Tuna

      You are right ~ all those people escaping the south was just a pack of lies.

      April 19, 2011 at 2:44 pm | Reply
  72. Ready Writer

    Any other worm word from mr. poposterous poet #155 Billy Idolatry.sounds like (toilettreats) make your next move very carfully,BILLY TOY BOY.(feel lucky)beter than billy goat for the slaughter! PS 5H

    April 19, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Reply
  73. Boinusa

    It's funny how this thread is going and BTW, would Sally Li be responding to every comment she/he doesn't agree with.
    Good lord, get a life.

    April 19, 2011 at 2:48 pm | Reply
  74. .....

    I feel sympathy for this woman and her family, but from the information provided in this article, she was no slave. She chose to enter another country illegally. she chose to work in that factory after seeing what the conditions were like. She chose to leave when it became unbearable. Nowhere in the world would that be called slavery except on CNN.

    Way to go sensationalizing one issue (poverty and poor working conditions) into something else entirely.

    April 19, 2011 at 2:50 pm | Reply
  75. Breed11

    Life sucks, you get over it at some point. The only escape is death.

    April 19, 2011 at 2:52 pm | Reply
  76. Fig1024

    "Once in Buenos Aires, Velasquez soon realized the whole scenario was a scam" – she should have realized that as soon as the potential "employers" offered fake passports for getting into a country. Seriously, it doesn't take a genius to figure out.

    April 19, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Reply
    • CincyCat29

      Come back & post again when you are starving and have an infant to take care of. It's called being desperate, which means easy pickings for con artists.

      April 19, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Reply
  77. pathetic

    How about we all argue about these issues on a message board as if anyone cares. Get over it, your points are worthless out here.

    April 19, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Reply
  78. CincyCat29

    From the article, "In Argentina, slave labor boomed during the past decade, a consequence of the country's devastating economic crisis in 2001, when it defaulted on some $100 billion dollars in debt."

    Anyone care to guess how much the United States is indebted to China right now? May God help us...

    April 19, 2011 at 3:12 pm | Reply
  79. pathetic2

    That ain't nothing. Try cutting wood 17 hrs a day for only $4.20 an hour holmes.

    April 19, 2011 at 3:12 pm | Reply
  80. fightforwhat

    The world is already 6.9 billion people and proper population control measures need to be taken, quality of life is better than quantity of life. Better everyone starts limiting to one kid for at least 100 years and the population will become half after about 80 years. Especially countries with heavy population like India, China, Bangladesh and Pakistan

    April 19, 2011 at 3:16 pm | Reply
  81. budd

    I live where there is no work and no prospects. So I go to another country illegally to try and find what my countrymen and I can't find at home. I get stuck in a "sweatshop" job and can't go to the authoriiteis because I am illegally in their country and so instead I join a socialist "sweatshop" doing the same thing except I am paid more. And I really do not have to work too hard because I get the same thing as everybody else. And pretty soon this country will become like my old coutry with no job and nothing to do. Ain't life grand?

    April 19, 2011 at 3:18 pm | Reply
  82. cat

    This is SADLY the price to be paid for our cheap, multi-color tee shirts. I shop for bargain deals at the Gap and Old Navy. I'm guilty, too. Until we (myself included) realize that we consume too much and realize that we have to PAY for what we consume (even if it means buying one cheap, colored shirt instead of several), we will contribute to the slave labor in developing countries. It's easy to be outraged but even easier to forget–since we are, for the most part, entirely separated from such poor conditions. We're to blame for human suffering as well as the damage to the Earth. Of course, even at more "high end" retailers it's difficult to find a tag that doesn't say "Made in Argentina/Cambodia/Thailand/etc."

    April 19, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Reply
  83. sean

    Did she work in kathy lee giffords shop too?

    April 19, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Reply
  84. sean

    what about america's slave labor??? What about people working for minimum wage here in america that are working twice as hard as those who have more well paid less stressful jobs?

    April 19, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Reply
    • .....

      Maybe those people shold have pursued their education further. Maybe those people should have chosen to wait longer before having children they couldn't afford. Maybe those people should just get another job they are qualified for. Without specifics, you're asking people to make some leaps of logic to answer your very broad question.

      If you are not satisfied with your job, find a new one like the woman in this article. If you think you are not being fairly compensated for your work, find a new job. You have a great many options, and no one forced you to take the job you have, unless you are a slave. Since you can post online I will assume you are not.

      April 19, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Reply
  85. Enrique

    This angers me, corporate America is the cause of all slavery in Latin America. It is shameful that we Americans know about this and nothing has been done to stop slavery. We have our heads up in our b-holes because we are fooled by fashion media and everyone wants to be a skanky model. No one on earth should attend anyone as a slave.

    April 19, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Reply
    • bnakka

      Yeah this practice is disgusting but how do you blame corporate america for this? Yeah there are plenty of disgusting things corporate america has/will do but this is one area where corporate america is not even half the blame.

      1. Do you have proof that corporate america is sponsoring these slave labor camps? When was the last time you asked or looked up all info on the product you just bought?

      2. Most of the slave camps are being run by individual goons or gangs with the support from higher ups but what kind of support is being lent out to these owners? Just because corporate america says we will buy X from you for these dollars does not mean they tell the owners please go out and use slaves to get us cheap products?

      People think with common sense. There are many out there that would sell their own family for money if possible. Stop blaming this on corporate america and thinking you are not to blame. if you have bought a cheap product in your life time you have contributed to this slavery. Stop thinking you are clean and everyone else is raping this planet. Get off your high horse.

      April 19, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Reply
    • Sally Li

      The situation in the Colombian cocaine-producing areas is an outrage. Girls are being dragged into the mountain camps, and abused in every possible way, until they have no will to resist, and side with their captors (Stockholm Syndrome). Then, they are trained as snipers and soldiers (and there is a cocaine connection with the illegal Khadafy government of Libya – the Khadafy people have been getting their cocaine from Colombia, and now they import these abused girl snipers too) Any American who uses cocaine ought to be jailed for life, as an accessory to child rape and brutalization. Americans – sheeple – seem to be howling with outrage about much less serious (or nonexistent) forms of child abuse. But this is the #1 form of child brutalization in the Western Hemisphere, and when Hillary Clinton last visited Latin America to preach her liberal diatribes against good Americans who want to put some sanity into our immigration situation, Hillary Clinton didn't even mention this child brutalization which takes place in Colombia and its border regions shared with neighboring nations – and she was in one of those countries. Secretary of State Clinton ought to make this the #1 item on her agenda. Not only is it inhumane, but it is a danger to the security of the United States which is being halfheartedly addressed.

      April 20, 2011 at 12:54 pm | Reply
  86. Kathy

    We have got to do what we can to stop this, even just beginning with a boycott of any product that is made in these slave labor places. Her description of the environment for those poor people is horrible. Is there any group that has a list exposing brands that are a part of this forced labor? Maybe that would be a start of getting a message of intolerance of slave labor to the right people.

    April 19, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Reply
  87. Sal

    This happens all over the world and Americans we are purchasing items not knowing the true conditions they are being created in.

    Below is a website to give additional information on global sweatshops...this world can be disheartening on all the terrible things that we as a race to do one another...those in power that can make changes should really listen and stop worrying about the all mighty dollar...what would they do if this was happening to their loved one?


    April 19, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Reply
  88. Ernie Smart

    I am no surprised at all. Argentina is a pretty racist country where they treat other Latin American people like garbage. They considered themselves superior to the test of the Latin countries. The sad part is that most people blame the US for all the bad things but this goes to show you that if you are an immigrant in Argentina from a Latin American country, you are fair game.

    April 19, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Reply
  89. Me

    Keep in mind that worker exploitation is not the same as slavery. A slave is a prisoner in a very literal sense, and is forced to work.

    April 19, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Reply
    • Cindy


      Surprisingly almost nobody here gets that basic point. They WANT to characterize these people as "slaves" to sensationalize and exagerate the issue. They aren't slaves.

      April 19, 2011 at 5:01 pm | Reply
      • daggerstab

        You really are stupid. Do you think this girl wanted to stay working in this place by choice? Do you think she had a choice? How extraordinarily ignorant and blind you are! American black slaves were also given food, shelter, and sometimes were given very little money. People like you would say that since they were paid, therefore they were not slaves, but plantation workers, huh? *Esta mujer es una inculta bruta pendeja.

        April 19, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
  90. Layla

    Most likely the people that are benefiting from the slave labor are American corporations. Typical white man greed, they will do anything for money and power to make themselves feel more superior than others. Its very unfortunate and sickening how this world operates, hopefully there is a spot in hell reserved to those who take advantage of people for their own financial gain.

    April 19, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Reply
    • phil white


      Typical anti-white posting to make themselves feel superior to whites.

      April 19, 2011 at 5:49 pm | Reply
  91. Toni

    Here in the USA the alleged #1 economy in the world,we have all the China Town ,Korea Town and Little Tokyos and other Latin American sweatshops,which are no different than Argentina's. This social phenomenon is unavoidable as many poor immigrants are so high in debts and the need to provide for their families back home,that they don't mind the sacrifices of indenture work. And governments pretend to be unaware to profit from cheap labor!

    April 19, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Reply
    • Boogala Boogala

      You really need to get out of the USA and look around a bit. Outside of Europe and Australia almost the entire world would kill to be in what you characterize as a sweatshop here in the US. You're talking about a nation in which the number one health risk for those in poverty is obesity.... Try explaining that to someone in India... really try... because I have and all they do is laugh.

      People are standing in line (legally and illegally) to get into our "sweatshops" so after you get a few facts right then come back and post.

      April 19, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Reply
  92. Harold Anderson

    If you come to another country, it is the responsibility of the new immigrant to respect and abide by the rules of the country. It is just plain respect and common sense.

    April 19, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Reply
    • Harold Anderson

      I would just like to clarify my article above does not in any way support slave labor. I was specifically speaking in terms of immigrants coming to the US. I do not think it is our responsibility in America to lower our standards for immigrants that come from a society where crime runs rampant and laws are not followed.

      April 19, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Reply
  93. Scott

    The whole worlds problems involve 1 MAJOR thing... Religion... "its all bullshit, and its bad for ya....."

    April 19, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Reply
    • Born Again Atheist

      Not sure how we got on Religion but YES! Religion is to blame for soo many problems – along with all the little lemmings that believe in that fictitious book of tales aka bible.

      But with regards to Slave Labor and the Socio-Economic Status of many people in Latin America...Some things will never change – its not the job of the US to change the world...so with that in mind: "Better them than me...its not my kids, and its not my family...so I could careless." And in case anyone is wondering: I work in Corporate America, College Graduate with Honors and BOTH my parents were Migrant Workers from Mexico...and I LOVE IT.

      April 19, 2011 at 5:58 pm | Reply
  94. Me

    Layla, greed is not something exclusively linked to white men. Grow a brain, hon.

    April 19, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Reply
  95. DD5

    The article is full of contradictions. Here is one:
    The article says: She was "forced to work 18 hours.....etc." But then the article says: "she felt she had no choice but to stay and work at the sweatshop. After a year, though, the mistreatment became too much, and she fled with her husband and son.
    In other words, she wan not "forced" but made a rational choice among here crappy alternatives. The job, after all, was the best alternative she had. That's not slavery. It's an opportunity!

    April 19, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Reply
    • Boogala Boogala

      Exactly correct. Also, it's not "fled" if all you have to do is pack up and leave. In other words THEY WEREN'T BEING HELD AGAINST THEIR WILL AND ARE THEREFORE NOT "SLAVES".

      April 19, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Reply
  96. Phil Newton

    Look for Fair Trade certification.

    April 19, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Reply
  97. Western_PA

    Why does CNN hype so many stories of "sweat shops" and so few stories about honest businesses going under because of immoral government regulations?

    April 19, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Reply
    • Sally Li

      Because they believe in big government, as do so many colleges and journalism schools – and because there are so few journalists who have had direct experience in running a business. The fact is, we don't need more laws on the books, and we don't need more layers of Government. But the layers of big Government which do exist are not prioritizing their jobs in any way which indicates that they are doing their jobs meaningfully – and they aren't enforcing the laws on the books. Federal agencies are allowing corrupt local officials and politically ambitious State politicians to overrule the Federal government in its responsibility to maintain decent labor standards in America, without driving people out of business. This can be done if it is done intelligently, and if the corruption factor is removed and exposed.

      April 20, 2011 at 1:00 pm | Reply
  98. Jorge

    Folks, guild shops are not 'socialism.' They have been around since the middle ages and were the precursors to modern factories. They still exist where a high degree of manual or trade-specific skill are required or where the participants choose to pool their limited resources together to avoid involving unnecessary middlemen or financial commitments. Stop spewing the museum-vintage, cold-war McCarthyist drivel. That bum died a broken drunk, you know.

    April 19, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Reply
  99. mark in nyc

    get real. the american worker is the modern-day slave.

    April 19, 2011 at 4:01 pm | Reply
  100. PARROT


    April 19, 2011 at 4:01 pm | Reply
  101. Alex

    All that people are illegals. They crossed the border with fake ID's, knowingly they were breaking the law; yet the managed to find a future in the same place they were slaves, yet they are still residing illegally.
    Reminds you of something? Same crap around here with all the illegal Mexicans in the US, they work for less than the minimum wage,they know they are breaking the law when the cross the border, yet they still managed to stick around and make a living.
    Quit pointing fingers on what happen outside the US, look around you, we are facing the very same crap.

    April 19, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Reply
  102. T. Smith

    Where was her husband during all of this? There is MUCH more to this story.

    April 19, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Reply
  103. Anti-Slavery

    Macy's, Bloomingsdale and many other fashion-catalog retailers use slaves in the garment industry. Nothing is new.

    April 19, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Reply
  104. Ready Writer

    To all Billy idolatry inclined,and whom love the searing steanch of each others butt holes and whom worship each others exterior and interior foul defilement, I say only this;your detestable secret agendas has prompted the POWER of the COSMOS to be perniciously pre-prepared against you.If you do not reconsider your vile ways,you will be the servants without wages,of those you oppress.The winepress of TRUE GOD speaks and labors more proficiently than anything and anybody.Take heed.

    April 19, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Reply
  105. The Triforce

    To all the non-english speakers u live in a nation where We know ur illegal learn they lanuage or we will kill ur families and slauther ur animals

    April 19, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Reply
    • Sally Li

      Say that in English. The fact is, the lack of American citizens who speak Arabic and are eligible for certain types of security clearances turned out to be a critical shortage in the wake of 9-11. The same is true of Farsi speakers, etc. The presence among us of so many different groups of immigrants from non-English speaking countries is an opportunity for Americans to learn the languages of these recent immigrants. By the way, the #1 business in Mexico City is, and has been, English tutoring. When I think of the list of non-English speaking countries, it is a shrinking list. Almost every immigrant from India speaks English, and people from Hong Kong and Singapore speak the King's English. The Philippines is completely English-speaking, of course. It is rare to find someone from an African country who doesn't speak English, in America. And listen to how well-spoken in English the leaders and poets of the Libyan Revolution are! It is a disgrace that due to the failure of our public education system, so few Americans have any significant skills at all in foreign languages and geography – unless they learn this from military or vocational training.

      April 20, 2011 at 1:08 pm | Reply
  106. Sid

    So she entered a country illegally. Knowingly breaking the law. Then she gets bested by those who are breaking the laws smarter than she did?

    I have no sympathy for her. She got what she deserved. As you sew so shall you reap.

    April 19, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Reply
  107. Werdup

    Is this Communism at its worst or Capitalism at its best? Or vice versa?

    April 19, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Reply
  108. American Cheapness

    Anyone supprised by this? As large international companies like Walmart push the chain supply to lower and lower costs... what do you expect? As long as we Americans continue to purchase the cheapest by a nickel product, this will increase...till there are no jobs left in our country.

    April 19, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Reply
  109. norcalmojo

    Isn't globalism fun?

    Remember, we have to "stay competitive" with these countries........

    April 19, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Reply
    • Redleg

      It sure is, I'm totally fine with it if we get cheaper good.

      April 19, 2011 at 4:28 pm | Reply
  110. SIDsays

    She is lucky she didn't get snapped up by the Mexican Cartel

    April 19, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Reply
  111. Gail

    This whole article is very one sided and misleading. There's a HUGE difference between willingly working in a sweatshop and slavery.

    April 19, 2011 at 4:25 pm | Reply
    • Jerad

      When you are tricked into going to another country, most likely with little or no money, then you really have no choice but to stay in said sweatshop until you have the means to relocate.

      April 19, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Reply
  112. Tish

    Reuse,reinvent what is in your closet,ask questions about the source, boycott and learn to make your own clothes.

    April 19, 2011 at 4:34 pm | Reply
    • Cindy

      Horsehair shirts for everyone!

      April 19, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Reply
  113. Jerad

    Modern day slavery is a very real problem but people make a mockery of the issue when they go overboard and pretend that it includes every low wage job in the US.

    April 19, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Reply
  114. Big George in Big D

    IN THE FIRST PLACE (AND I FAIL TO SEE WHY ALL YOU BLEEDING HEART LIBERALS ARE TO STUPID), DID ANYONE BOTHER TO NOTE THE FACT THAT SHE WAS AN ILLEGAL, DOING AN ILLEGAL BORDER CROSSING WITH ILLEGAL DOCUMENTS????? The old saying, if its too good to be true, it usually is. My God, people, wake the hell up! Boogala Boogala is right – she made a choice – TO DO THE ILLEGAL THING!!!

    April 19, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Reply
  115. Redleg

    If it wasn't for the capitalists wanting the finished goods, or the "sweatshop" in Argentina that gave her work, she'd still be sitting in her grass hut in Bolivia starving.

    Slave indeed. She should be on her knees thanking them for the opportunity out she got. There are thousands of others still in Bolivia that would kill to get out and be what CNN laughingly calls "slaves".

    April 19, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Reply
  116. Bye

    I have to leave now but really, I can't tell you how much I have enjoyed this comment board for this article. Thanks for all the great laughs!

    April 19, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Reply
  117. lindita

    Where is the government in Mexico and their President? The people in Mexico need to kick them for a better life. Don't blame the USA. God bless America. Thank you

    April 19, 2011 at 4:44 pm | Reply
  118. John

    Everyone should see the movie- Mardi Gras: Made in China
    Another eye opener.

    April 19, 2011 at 4:49 pm | Reply
  119. Cindy

    Very one sided article. It focused entirely on only the negative aspects of sweatshop labor (this is NOT slavery) and totally ignored the good.

    April 19, 2011 at 4:57 pm | Reply
    • Phil

      Cindy, enlighten us, please. What are the positive aspects to sweatshop labor?

      April 19, 2011 at 5:02 pm | Reply
      • Born Again Atheist

        Postives? Let's see: Work up a good sweat...burn some calories...lower your body fat composition...strengthen the lower back by bending down all day...My gardener who is illegal works like a mule, but that dude is sooo strong...I bet he is more fit than anyone that is reading this website.

        April 19, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
    • Cindy

      Glad you asked:

      Lower cost of goods for consumers.
      An improvement in the standard of living for the workers (beats starving to death in Bolivia)

      April 19, 2011 at 5:10 pm | Reply
      • daggerstab

        Boy that sure says a lot about you and your great sense of morality, you douche-bag!

        April 19, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
    • daggerstab

      The "good" of a sweatshop? Not slave labor? 25 bucks a month for 18hrs work per day/7 days a week is not slave labor? You must be born ignorant and stupid, or you own and operate a sweat shop already. Anyone who abuses another human the way these people do, and those who condone that behavior, such as yourself, have special names like DIRT-BAG, DOUCHE-BAG, OPPRESSOR, EVIL, ABUSER, CRUEL, CONSCIENCELESS, IMMORAL, UNETHICAL, UNPRINCIPLED, UNCIVILIZED, WICKED, BARBARIC... YOU GET THE POINT?

      April 19, 2011 at 5:11 pm | Reply
    • Tyler

      @Cindy – are you really that stupid or you just peed in your cereal this morning?

      April 19, 2011 at 5:19 pm | Reply
      • daggerstab

        No,"name calling" are words that have no basis, these words however, are the equivalent of a definition of your statement, which is appalling to the rest of the CIVILIZED world.

        April 19, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
    • Cindy


      Hmmm, name calling.. what a lucid, cogent arguement you have there.

      Protip: Go read up a bit more before you rail and rant. You don't have a clue about slavery is if you want to equate working in a sweatshop to it.

      April 19, 2011 at 5:22 pm | Reply
      • daggerstab

        No,"name calling" are words that have no basis, these words however, are the equivalent of a definition of your statement, which is appalling to the rest of the CIVILIZED world.

        April 19, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  120. daggerstab

    If you want to stop most of the slave shops, FIND OUT WHO IS SELLING THEIR PRODUCTS, and make it PUBLIC!!! Make websites with their names listed on them! Make flyers with their names on them! I guarantee that those businesses will make an effort not to have their names on this list! Eventually you'll see no buyers, therefore no slave labor companies.

    April 19, 2011 at 4:58 pm | Reply
  121. buckybadger

    Slavery is a huge problem that is getting ignored in here in the USA. Trafficking of young girls for prostitution is rampant. If you see a missing persons report please pay attention to it and try to remember the face. If its young girl there is a good chance she is being forced into a horrible trade.

    April 19, 2011 at 5:00 pm | Reply
  122. sam kohen

    A few years ago a story broke that clothing bearing Kathy Lee Gifford name was being produced in sweatshops. She threathened to sue for libel. As it turned out it was even worse. The employees, mainly Thai WERE ACTUALLY SLAVES tricked into coming to the US and then made to work in conditions almost identical to the German concentration camps during WWII. Kathy Lees career was almost destroyed because of this.

    April 19, 2011 at 5:04 pm | Reply
  123. Rob94hawk

    What the heck does this article have to do with the left or right? This is the problem with mexico and south america. Nobody has the balls to stand up en masse and fight. Instead everyone runs to the US to hide.

    April 19, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Reply
  124. wimo

    SLAVERY????? WHEN U HAVE NO CHOICE!!!! THERE IS NO Slavery in this story ..................

    April 19, 2011 at 5:13 pm | Reply
  125. Tyler

    I am glad to find aour about 'No Chains' label – I am planing to shop on line!

    I feel awful for all those exploited people - I wish I can do something.

    April 19, 2011 at 5:15 pm | Reply
  126. fernace

    Not only does our wonderful, wealthy nation outsource jobs to these sweatfactories, but American companies also buy product, sell at huge inflation pricing under the umbrella of various smaller companies. It's known as smart business. Other westernized nations do it to, it's insidious & a practice old as time. Steal from the poor, give to the rich or in this case: Work the poor to death, let the rich profit. It should be known that many sweat workers dont want our help. This is simply how biz is done in their particular nations & close down 1 shop there's 100 to take it's place.Meanwhile, a slew of desperate workers have no means of putting food in their families bellies! That actually happened in the 90's when Kathie Lee Gifford was berated for putting her name on clothing manufactured in sweat shops, then she got backlash from the worker's when she took steps to close up the shop.There is no fairness in this world, we might mean well butall human's are not treated with equality. It's a fact of life!

    April 19, 2011 at 5:36 pm | Reply
  127. phil white

    @ Sally li "... the reason for illegal immigrant labor from Latin America is the fact that minimum wage laws in the USA"

    The reason for low entry wages in America is immigration. Put Americans out of work and your further reduce the birth rate. White countries are halving their native population every 60 years.
    Low wage immigrants are part of the planned slow genocide of whites every where.

    April 19, 2011 at 5:38 pm | Reply
  128. Ready Writer

    To all the hump happy fucks, stop having bastard babies and take some time out to wash out the kinky crevice of your sinful, stinking, filthy ass and hole. RATS BREEDING RATS IS UNACCEPTABLE.

    April 19, 2011 at 5:48 pm | Reply
  129. Born Again Atheist


    April 19, 2011 at 6:01 pm | Reply
    • wimo

      AMEN!!!!!! :::)))))

      April 19, 2011 at 7:02 pm | Reply
  130. STFU

    Why don't you all just STFU and get off of your asses and from behind the key boards and go over there and do something about it. Instead of talking shit about what America has done or not did... Sally get a fucken life. To much time on your hands lady. Use those figers to play with yourself instead of typing PLEASE! maybe you'll have a better out look on life. I feel that if you havent servred in the US military you should not be able to talk shit, or even be considered a citizen. I am so tired of "THOSE" people like Sally who talk shit abuot american but wont fucken leave it cause they know there is no better place to go. So I am bring it back , Ready for it? here it goes. 'LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT " LOVE AMERICA OR JUST GET THE FUCK OUT.
    Veteran of 911 and Iraq and Afganistan.

    April 19, 2011 at 6:12 pm | Reply
    • well golly Be

      veteran of 911? didn't know that was a war. guess you lost

      April 19, 2011 at 6:41 pm | Reply
  131. well golly Be

    Maybe they should've figuired something wasn't on the up and up somewhere between the fake passport and cross dressing their baby

    April 19, 2011 at 6:39 pm | Reply
  132. Ready Writer

    Now you know how a deadicated american expresses his true inner feelings.Just listen to how he lovingly expresses himself to the very hell that he procreates,and the disrespect he has for women in general.commentator #336,you are very proud of your pathetic patriotic self aren't you? Thank GOD for TRUE democracy in the multitud of every nation ,kindred and toungues.

    April 19, 2011 at 6:47 pm | Reply
  133. indochinaumc

    Mr.Brian Byrnes, My name is Gary Moon and I am currently living in Thailand. I am wondering weather I can get the information about the shop in Bangkok.

    April 19, 2011 at 6:59 pm | Reply
  134. victimsadvo

    The word Fled was not in quotes in the article. This may not have been her word but the word chosen by the author of the story to boost credibility to the slant he wants to put on it. Sensationalism.

    April 19, 2011 at 7:06 pm | Reply
  135. John

    This reminds me of the factory in North Carolina I got laid off from in Jan.55 people laid off all over 40 ALL white Americans. Welcome to the NEW WORLD ECONOMY.

    April 19, 2011 at 7:11 pm | Reply
  136. Ready Writer

    The POWER that transcends all powers protects me and sustains me.Blessed are those whom are not against me.

    April 19, 2011 at 8:07 pm | Reply
  137. Ready Writer

    Surely i say to you that whatever is done onto me,will be multiplied onto them.and he who findeth the pathway,identifies with TRUTH.And into the traps that they privily lay down for me,they themselves will fall into it.

    April 19, 2011 at 8:18 pm | Reply
  138. Golden

    For someone who lives in an amazing country that is not the United States but is close enough to know about everything going on, it's really hard to sit here and listen to people talk about reversing the Emancipation Proclamation and that slavery of any kind should be allowed. As a student of history I cannot sit here and deny that a many great civilizations were built on the backs of slaves, but I cannot say they were right either, even if it were only 150 years ago or 5000 years ago. Many of you talk about how places like Haiti and Africa only have themselves to blame, I beg to differ. Africa and Haiti are the prime examples of colonialism at it's best. They were expolited for their resources for the benefit of the white Europeans. Once the resources were gone, so were the Europeans, and the economy, and systems of government.
    Also, this whole idea of American Exceptionalism and 'a shining city on a hill" needs to stop, the rest of the world is getting tired of it. Historically the average life span of a ruling country or 'empire' is around 200 years, your time it almost up. And for those of you who don't know or fail to recognise, China finacially, owns you. And capitalism, isn't a form of government, its a form of commerce and trade, to get business done.
    Many of you can sit at your computers, in your comfy middle class suburb, and not have to worry about your daughters being sold for sex in Eastern Europe or the Middle East, your sons digging in diamond and gold mines in Africa, with the threat of being shot on site of accused of robbery. If America is such a great and awesome country, why not be the role model and help these people?

    April 19, 2011 at 8:28 pm | Reply
  139. Ready Writer

    I AM a product of CREATOR inguinuity-nothing more,nothing less-from whom logical purpose is accomplished. Uponto those who LOVE me,or hate me,is a quantum portion of their own cup.

    April 19, 2011 at 8:37 pm | Reply
  140. Hotspur

    Nope. This ain't even close to slavery.

    April 19, 2011 at 9:07 pm | Reply
  141. Ready Writer

    Allow me to reform and correct,those in need of reform and correction.INTERNATIONALLY UNITED WE STAND.However we must and will,understand,first and formost.

    April 19, 2011 at 9:11 pm | Reply
  142. Ready Writer

    Examine yourselves on a frequent basis.Are you contributing to a better life experience ?

    April 19, 2011 at 9:17 pm | Reply
  143. daggerstab

    Hotspur, your denial is consistent with the wits of Cindy, who is blinded by her own lack of judgement, twisting a story that is plain and to the point to eradicate and justify any sense of guilt and remorse for people who suffer. Do you justify their suffering for your comfort? Would the changing of the word "Fled" make you feel better about your point of view? Would you sleep better tonight if you knew your clothes were made by "exploited" workers rather than slaves?

    April 19, 2011 at 9:25 pm | Reply
  144. Ready Writer

    enoug of slave pitty parties and parties.We all have much good work to do in our society that was paved by brave men and women.It is not about you, me, nor them.

    April 19, 2011 at 9:29 pm | Reply
  145. Golden

    @Hotspur, what would you call it then? An encroachment of civil liberties? A refusal of individual freedoms? One does not have to be bound or held against ones will to be a slave, many stay out of violence threated against them, their children, or families back home.

    April 19, 2011 at 9:30 pm | Reply
  146. daggerstab

    Look up the definition yourself. Pay close attention to definition #4:

    World English Dictionary
    slavery (ˈsleɪvərɪ)

    — n
    1. the state or condition of being a slave; a civil relationship whereby one person has absolute power over another and controls his life, liberty, and fortune
    2. the subjection of a person to another person, esp in being forced into work
    3. the condition of being subject to some influence or habit
    4. work done in harsh conditions for low pay

    April 19, 2011 at 9:37 pm | Reply
  147. Ready Writer

    The definition of slavery is reform and correction. unless you overpopulate to the point that you deplete rivers dry and eat each other to oblivion.

    April 19, 2011 at 9:38 pm | Reply
  148. Golden

    Well all I have to say is to each their own. If I've learned one thing through my studies it that humans everywhere have generally excelled at one thing, and that is to harm or kill others. Although some of the opinions posted here are way out in left (or right) feild can we really impose our opinions on one another, no, thats called fundimentalism and a dictatorship 🙂 But I personally thank all of your for an enriching discussion, I wish you all well.

    April 19, 2011 at 9:50 pm | Reply
  149. Ready Writer

    And that in all possible likelyhood, would have taken place after they devour our children and digest them.Only to roam around again for more food and drink. Now they herd themselves to mcdonalds and burger king and burger queen,ah,dairy queen,daily,by the humdreds of thousands.

    April 19, 2011 at 10:04 pm | Reply
  150. daggerstab

    If it makes you sleep better at night, then go ahead and and put it in any context you'd like. You'd make a good attorney to represent the sex trafficking industry. Your honor, they weren't slaves, they all "volunteered" to do it.

    April 19, 2011 at 10:06 pm | Reply
  151. big bob

    Does anyone have a cheap butt scratcher i can borrow? My asshole itches.

    April 19, 2011 at 10:11 pm | Reply
  152. Ready Writer

    ...and no wonder they predict a boom in the medical feild.Imagine all the liposuction they are going to be running to later, after they reallise that all the exlax they ingested does not work.

    April 19, 2011 at 10:15 pm | Reply
  153. Ready Writer

    My, my,I guess there arent any simple solutions in sight.

    April 19, 2011 at 10:22 pm | Reply
  154. Marco Polo

    Sure beats sitting around starving to death in Bolivia.

    April 19, 2011 at 10:39 pm | Reply
  155. Dudley041518

    Follow-up to the Ashton/Demi show. It's all a 'project.' CNN 'front-page Demi and Ashton then follow up for two weeks on stories that support their contention. It's marketing 101. boycott CNN

    April 19, 2011 at 10:42 pm | Reply
    • Marco Polo

      What else would you expect from CNN? Don't you also love how all the poor exploited workers eventually flee and form their happy little commune to make make and sell their chain free garments to the do gooder suckers?

      Buy from us and strike a blow against tyranny LOL!

      April 19, 2011 at 10:52 pm | Reply
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    April 20, 2011 at 12:33 am | Reply
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    April 20, 2011 at 12:36 am | Reply
  158. daggerstab

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  159. big bob

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  160. Hotspur

    I wanna hook up with daggerstab and do a little stabbin of my own! I will take my large rod and poke him in da keister! Dagger iz gonna be rollin bowlegged and dat anal drip iz gonna be messy! See ya you fairies!!

    April 20, 2011 at 12:45 am | Reply
  161. Norma

    To answer to the original report of sweat-shops in Argentina...
    Do you know who brings those poor "slaves" to Argentina?? Well, they are fellow Bolivians, who make a lot of money by making false promises to their own neighbors. Just like Mexicans do with their own to cross to US/
    And do you know what Bolivians do when they get familiar with the situation in Argentina? They occupy houses that are for rent, illegaly, and when the owners try to regain their properties, these "poor people" use their children as shields so nobody can evict them. Having children is the first job they do; it's a calculated move to obtain citizenship.
    And don't forget that they cross the border illegaly, lying to authorities and fooling them. Do you think it's right? Do you like t when thousands of illegal immigrants cross the US border?
    I wish them well, but let's be fair and see the situation as it is, not as presented by "poor victims".

    April 20, 2011 at 12:46 am | Reply
  162. Golden

    I have a golden treat for all you freaks! I iz gonna give you some of my tasty man goo! You be ready to take dis monster load as I abuse your mouth! Get ready for a bit of da g-shower to boot you little ho-mos!!

    April 20, 2011 at 12:47 am | Reply
  163. Ready Writer

    Wow! I didn't know all three of you were little flamers! Why don't you dudes just get a room and stop bugging us with your random acts of gayness! Even though you like to butt slam your buddies doesn't mean we want to hear about meat sticks or big ol sausages! You three get pillow biter of da week award!!! See ya!!

    April 20, 2011 at 12:51 am | Reply
  164. daggerstab

    I iz gonna pump you chumps in da rump with my little stump which will trump your lump as it goes bump! thump! Now u take a dump! I just love to rhyme about rump rangers like myself. Hey you slobs! Come do a job on my knob with my buddy Rob as you bob on his corn cob! Rump Rangers unite!!

    April 20, 2011 at 1:02 am | Reply
  165. chunky honky chik

    Sung to the tune of "Let's get physical"....ohhhh, I love jig-a-boos, jig-a-boos. I really want jig-a-boos, jig-a boos. Dem big ol jig-a-boos, jig-a-boos. Please pump me jig-a-boos, jig-a-boos!! Let's get physical!! Jizz-a-cal...jizz-a-cal!! I be wanting jig-a-boos!! Yeah!!! You nigs be kickin! Sincerely, fat white chick.

    April 20, 2011 at 1:16 am | Reply
  166. Jero

    Buy No chains clothing.
    Workers of the world... unite!!
    Long live La Alameda, long live Dignity returns!!!

    April 20, 2011 at 1:26 am | Reply
  167. Michelle

    I am a lezbo and I be looking for a butch so we can mow some box!! Let's pound each other in da pooper with a big ol dildo!!

    April 20, 2011 at 1:46 am | Reply
  168. Dawn Castle

    I Many states are weakening their child labor laws.

    April 20, 2011 at 8:43 am | Reply
  169. victimsadvo

    The only information in this article that can be equated to the woman in the story are the words found in quotation marks. These are her words. All the other words are the words of the author Brian Byrnes and purposefully inflammatory to slant the article to create controversy. Even the headline "Victims break chains of slavery" is written to attract readers but inaccurate since the woman and her family were not chained as the headline implies.
    The word "fled" is also the term the author chose to use. He could just as easily have said "she left" and it would have been more accurate.
    Don't be so easily suckered in by media bias and attempts to slant a story. CNN is lazy.
    There really are real cases of slavery in the world but CNN is not even investigating those. Other news organizations have.

    April 20, 2011 at 9:10 am | Reply
  170. victimsadvo

    The only information in this article that can be equated to the woman in the story are the words found in quotation marks. These are her words. All the other words are the words of the author Brian Byrnes and purposefully inflammatory to slant the article to create controversy. Even the headline "Victims break chains of slavery" is written to attract readers but inaccurate since the woman and her family were not chained as the headline implies.
    The word "fled" is also the term the author chose to use. He could just as easily have said "she left" and it would have been more accurate.
    Don't be so easily suckered in by media bias and attempts to slant a story. CNN is lazy.
    There really are real cases of slavery in the world but CNN is not even investigating those. Other news organizations have.

    April 20, 2011 at 9:19 am | Reply
  171. Cindy

    There are still some instances of slavery in the world, this isn't one of them. CNN as usual is trying to sensationalize a story in order to create controversy. This woman was tricked, lied to, and exploited. She wasn't enslaved. Trying to depict her plight as slavery is an insult to the decendents of real slaves, and the actual – real – slavery that still exists today.

    April 20, 2011 at 9:23 am | Reply
  172. Dean


    Police Raid Frees 60 Burmese Slaves

    By KO HTWE Wednesday, April 20, 2011

    Imprisoned Burmese migrant workers wait at Bangkok's Din Daeng Police Station (Photo: The Irrawaddy)

    More than 60 Burmese migrant workers who were kept prisoner and forced to work in a Bangkok garment factory were discovered by anti-human trafficking police on Tuesday.

    The factory was operated by Chinese national Dalong Wu and his wife Namee Sae Lee. Burmese workers were paid a pittance and not allowed to leave the building, but one escaped and contacted the Burma Association Thailand for help.

    An official from Bangkok's Din Daeng Police Station told The Irrawaddy on Wednesday that nearly 30 migrant workers from the four raided apartments have been detained and will appear in court tomorrow.

    “I went to the Thailand anti-human trafficking police accompanied with a translator on April 12 after I was contacted by one of the migrant workers. They accepted his allegations and rescued the rest,” said Kyaw Thaung, from Burma Association Thailand based in Bangkok.

    Burmese workers climb down from the apartment in which they were detained. (Photo: The Irrawaddy)
    According to The Bangkok Post, police officers arrested Dalong Wu and Namee Sae Lee on suspicion of breaching the Labor Act, and Lee admitted to detaining the workers inside the factory to prevent their escape.

    Thein Naing said that fellow worker Phyo Wai Oo guided police to the factory and he was rescued from the building along with 19 other migrant workers from his apartment.

    Thein Naing was detained in the factory for nearly two months and is now recovering in a rehabilitation center. Many of these migrants have been detained by police for lack of official documentation.

    Staff from the factory had to work from 8 am until midnight, with doors and windows securely locked to prevent them escaping. Some workers had to survive on reduced wages in order to repay recruitment debts of nearly 15,000.

    “I haven’t received my wages yet. They [owners] locked the door and kept watch when we went outside to throw out the garbage. They attracted us by saying they would pay 10,000 baht per month,” said Thein Naing.

    Thein Naing said that he has no official documents, but labor brokers and factory leaders encourage poor Burmese people to enter Thailand and work.

    There are an estimated two to three million Burmese migrants in Thailand, but only 1,310,686 have registered as official migrant workers.

    “I heard that the police will investigate more and if our statements are true and we are deemed victims of trafficking we have to be sent back to Burma,” Thein Naing added.

    “Phyo Wai Oo was also slapped by our boss at the police station and I found that our boss was standing in front of the rehabilitation center when the police took us there.”

    April 20, 2011 at 10:22 am | Reply
  173. Allen N Wollscheidt

    Officials claim not to know how many clandestine factories there are. Nonsense : All they need to do is look in their bank accounts and tally the number of bribes they received.

    April 20, 2011 at 10:28 am | Reply

    Identify yourself.

    April 22, 2011 at 11:06 pm | Reply

    "Nemo Me Impune Lacessit."

    April 22, 2011 at 11:43 pm | Reply

    Any Entity and/or entities that are inclined to enslave peaple shall bring uponto themseves swift demise.And any peaple whom do not obey the COSMIC LAW of the land of the living, shall be swiftly, equally destroyed. Zero tolerance for ignorance. Serve,Free and be well rewarded, or disobey and be destroyed. Not the rich nor the needy are above the COSMIC LAW.

    April 23, 2011 at 12:20 am | Reply

    "Wha Daur Meddle Wi'Me."

    April 23, 2011 at 12:45 am | Reply

    "Cha Togar M' Thearg Gun Dioladh."

    April 23, 2011 at 12:51 am | Reply

    "No One Harms Me Unpunished." OBEY THE LAW OF THE LAND OF THE LIVING AND LIVE FREE. No exceptions.EYE WILL, predestinedly pre-composed.

    April 23, 2011 at 1:22 am | Reply

    EYE love the sound of their silence in the we hours of the morning,sounds like...VICTORY!

    April 23, 2011 at 1:41 am | Reply


    April 23, 2011 at 1:50 am | Reply

    ... "And the gates of hell does not prevail."

    April 23, 2011 at 2:00 am | Reply
  183. Kimberly


    April 26, 2011 at 7:58 pm | Reply
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