THE COCAINE THAT WASHES IN FROM THE SEA The last man you come across in Mexico can be found at the following coordinates: 18º 12’ 9” N and 87º 50’ 36” W. He is almost always there working on his rooftop terrace. His name is Don Luis and his home faces the Caribbean Sea beyond the ubiquitous mangrove swamp. If you walk five minutes to the right, you are in a different country, but if you go left, you are in Xcalak in an hour – the first town within the Mexican border. Don Luis is a muscular 58-year-old with dark hair and a moustache, and whose isolated dwelling is situated on one of oddest borders in the world. It is a line that divides a 99-kilometer strip of land into southeast Mexico and Belize, otherwise known as a key, which runs parallel to the Belize coastline. A military base marks the division between the countries. Mexico has 62 kilometers with barely a soul on them while Belize owns 37 kilometers crammed with tourists. The last man in … [Read more...] about The dark side of the Caribbean
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On 6 August last year, 14 immigrant farmhands in Foggia, on the ankle of the Italian boot, were coming home from a 12-hour shift picking tomatoes in 40C heat. The minibus carrying them was registered in Bulgaria; the driver didn’t have a licence or insurance. The seats inside were wooden planks, and it was so crowded that passengers couldn’t even see out. The vehicle was travelling at speed when it collided head-on with a truck loaded with tomatoes. After the crash, you could see contorted limbs through the smashed windows. The entire front third of the vehicle was concertinaed and the roof was ripped open. Bags and clothing spilled out on to the road, and there were large patches of blood on the asphalt. Twelve of the 14 labourers died. Only two days before, also in Foggia, four labourers had died in a similar accident: 16 dead in 48 hours. In the Italian south, the lives of foreign agricultural labourers are so cheap that many NGOs have described their conditions as a … [Read more...] about Are your tinned tomatoes picked by slave labour?
Names marked with an asterisk* have been changed to protect interviewees' anonymity. Sochi and Moscow, Russia - At around the time of the 2018 World Cup, several Nigerian men travelled to Russia on a promise. Agents in the African country had led them to believe that they would enjoy professional footballing careers in Russia, and they arrived with "fan-ID", which provided visa-free entry. Almost a year later, some remain stranded in Russia having witnessed the ugliest side of the football business. They had been scammed. As they remained undocumented, the men suffered enormously. James*, 23, one of the hopeful footballers, was among them. His father recently died back home. "I just wanted to help my dad," he said in Sochi, breaking into tears. "It's the first time I'm crying about his passing." When James arrived on Russian soil, nothing awaited him - there was nobody there to welcome him. Like most of the players, he had paid a large sum of money to a shady agent. "I gave more than … [Read more...] about A Russian dead end for scammed Nigerian footballers
Europe 21 May 2019 Share this with Facebook Share this with Messenger Share this with Twitter Share this with Email Share this with Facebook Share this with WhatsApp Share this with Messenger Share this with Twitter Share Share this with These are external links and will open in a new window Email Share this with Email Facebook Share this with Facebook Messenger Share this with Messenger Messenger Share this with Messenger Twitter Share this with Twitter Pinterest Share this with Pinterest WhatsApp Share this with WhatsApp LinkedIn Share this with LinkedIn Copy this link https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-48350961 Read more about sharing. These are external links and will open in a new window Close share panel Five people have gone on trial in Germany for allegedly trafficking up to 200 Thai women and forcing them to work in a nationwide network of … [Read more...] about Thai forced prostitution trial opens in Germany
Last April, Samira Ahmad* kissed her baby goodbye and boarded a bus, leaving her home in Morocco for the strawberry fields of southern Spain.In her bag was her Spanish visa and a contract that promised €40 a day plus food and accommodation. In the three months she’d be away, she hoped the pain of being separated from her family would be softened by the money she’d be sending back to them – a fortune compared to what she’d be able to earn at home. A year on, and Ahmad’s life is in ruins. She is destitute, divorced and for the past 10 months has been living in hiding, surviving on handouts with nine other Moroccan women who – like her – claim they faced human trafficking, sexual assault and exploitation on the farm where they were hired to work. She says her biggest mistake – other than coming to Spain – was going to the authorities. “Before I left my home I was like a hero to everyone. Nobody in my village had ever had … [Read more...] about Rape and abuse: the price of a job in Spain’s strawberry industry?