Brazil Again Finds and Releases Hundreds of Slave Laborers

Agriculture is one of the areas in which slave labor is more common in Brazil From the beginning of the year till the end of March, 583 Brazilians who were working as slaves were released by the Brazilian government's Mobile Inspection Group from the Labor and Employment Ministry. Last year, during the same period, the number of slave workers was smaller: 565 people.

The new number was announced this Tuesday, April 10, by the Labor Ministry's communication office. In the first quarter, the Mobile Group guaranteed the payment of close to 918,000 reais (about half a million dollars) in labor indemnities. The government held 17 operations in 40 farms.

Last year, during the same period, 51 farms were visited in 21 operations, which brought almost 763,000 reais (US$ 377,000 reais) in compensations.

Pará, in the North, was the state with the largest number of released workers, 192. It was followed by Piauí­ (155), Bahia (97), Maranhão (78), Goiás (36) and Mato Grosso (25).

The activities with more employees exploited as slaves are cattle breeding, agriculture, and wood, coal and vegetable exploration.

Among those who participated in the Mobile Group there were labor inspectors, Federal Police chiefs and agents, and prosecutors from the Labor Public Ministry.

At the time of their rescue, workers receive the money they are owed plus unemployment insurance, food, housing and transportation to their hometowns. They also receive legal assistance and are included in federal social programs.


Brazil exported over US$ 11.7 billion in agricultural products between January and March this year. The value is 20% greater than exports in the same period of 2006, when the country sold abroad a total of US$ 9.795 billion.

Imports also grew in the first quarter of 2007: they were 33% greater than in the first quarter of last year, when they totaled US$ 2.012 billion.

The sectors that contributed the most to the growth in exports, according to figures supplied by the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply, were meats, sugar and alcohol, coffee and fruit juice.

The ministry also pointed out the increase in exports to the Middle East, the European Union (EU) and Africa, respectively 79.2%, 23.5% and 20.6% in March this year when compared to the same month in 2006.


  • Show Comments (7)

  • AES

    Bravo Enforcement
    In the U.S. the police have the right to ‘appropriate’ all monies and property used in the commission of organized crimes. Raids on meat packing houses, brought millions of dollars in fines, for employers, willfully employing persons unlawfully in the U.S. If you make the financial penalty so great, including the confiscation and auction of the land, the problem begins to abate. The problem is enforcement. When the police realize they get to legally apply confiscated monies to police equipment, vehicles, kevlar vests, radio equipment, night vision, and increased personel, the problem begins to be acted upon. The single thing an organized criminal enterprise is about is money. If it becomes apparent that it is less of a business expense to ‘pay’ for the labor, they will.

  • Simpleton

    The laws and how justice operates is just different / something most can’t readily understand.

    Why does not the white collar or government criminals not get convicted and sent to prisao? Age old rule: Silence is golden (or brings you more gold?). Better to say nothing or as little as possible. Unless there is a clear paper trail with someone producing the original and legible documents (no copies allowed) if you admit to nothing you will not loose your case / be convicted. Simple (and since papel de toilette is such a rare comodity, only the cunning and rich will have retained what it takes to win over a verbal accord of truth).

  • Forrest Allen Brown

    you will not find a mexican in texas working for less than $5.oo ann hour called farm wages some not most have housing supplyed by the rancher or farmer and thoes are looked into by the health deparment , to make sure thay are up the the standardes by law , way above the avrage housing in brazil
    by the state law if you pay a person under wage your property can be taken and sold to the highest bidder .

    there were many cases of contractors using cheep labor for 2 weeks than on pay day calling INS to pick up the people . but the INS would bring the owner to pay the people before thay were deported . does not happen much any more

    at least when we catch them they go to jail not back to there govermental jobs to do it again

    what is it
    vote for the thife you know not the one you dont know

  • ch.c.

    1) doubtful there are more crimes and corruption in Texcas than in Brazil !!!!!!
    2) and to my knowledge, but may be not yours, comparing Texas and Brazil can only be done by idiots. Because to my knowledge Texas is a state and Brazil a country. Thus if anyone want to compare Texas, he should then also take the worst Brazilian state.
    3) funny that slaves are freed, when the government pretend there are NO slaves, but only workers with poor working conditions !
    4) But they have a special police dept against slavery. Thus anyone can see how they cheat and lie….as usual
    5) There are not 40’000 slaves but more around 250’000 as per many local and international NGO’s
    6) Funny too that they free slaves, but that no one guilty, ever went to jail, despite their laws ! Simple demonstration that the Brazilian laws are not written to be applied, same as for corruption laws.
    7) Impunity prevails ALL OVER BRAZIL, and their constitution has been written on toilet paper ! Brazilians dont even know what means
    good governance, rule of laws and accountability !
    8) In my view if there are so many Mexicans treated as slaves in the USA why do they beg to continue their work, their stay and even bring their families ?????? Why dont we ask them directly where their job and working conditions ares better… the USA…or Mexico !
    This should answer once and for all if there are slaves in the USA !!!!! Let me doubt it ! I never heard that slaves are ready to pay nice dollar amounts to be smuggled illegally……where they will become slaves……. !!!!!!!

    And finally, just listen to AES ! He is the only one on earth…to have sold Gold at US$ 820.- !!!!!!!
    He has a financial expertise that only Brazilians have ! Gold never rose to US$ 820.- for the last 25 years !!!!!!!

  • Baba from Texas

    With thousands of illegal Mexican working in the fields for less than 3 minimum wages per day. A State that has executed more innocent prisoners than the all the other states combined. A state that is known for being number one in white collar crime and corruption. You should be very proud indeed Allen

  • Forrest Allen Brown

    good for you aes all about the money .
    if the police see thare is money to be made in the system just mabey they will do something about it . or it will force the goverment to act on there own officals whom are doing this also .

    back in texas if you did a crime your name was placed in the news paper for all to read , it was the most looked at place in the paper

  • Forrest Allen Brown

    can you read this here is your proof , your very own goverment has an office to take care of this matter .
    of slave labor
    and the other day in this site the story was Jobs up real wages down in SP
    also on same day the headre was
    Slave labor in brazil may reach 40.000
    and lets us not forget the
    ICFT report on labor and children
    here also
    lets get into the sex slavery in brazil also here on this site
    read and respond , not react

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