CRF Blog

‘Product of Mexico’ series

by Bill Hayes

The Los Angeles Times has produced a four-part “Product of Mexico” series:

Part 1: Hardship on Mexico’s farms, a bounty for U.S. tables: “Farm exports to the U.S. from Mexico have tripled to $7.6 billion in the last decade, enriching agribusinesses, distributors and retailers. But for thousands of farm laborers south of the border, the boom is a story of exploitation and extreme hardship.”

Part 2: Desperate workers on a Mexican mega-farm: ‘They treated us like slaves’: “A raid exposes brutal conditions at Bioparques, one of Mexico’s biggest tomato exporters, which was a Wal-Mart supplier. But the effort to hold the grower accountable is looking more like a tale of impunity.”

Part 3: Company stores trap Mexican farmworkers in a cycle of debt: “The company store is supposed to be a lifeline for migrant farm laborers. But inflated prices drive people deep into debt. Many go home penniless, obliged to work off their debts at the next harvest.”

Part 4: In Mexico’s fields, children toil to harvest crops that make it to American tables: “About 100,000 children under 14 pick crops for pay at small- and mid-size farms across Mexico, where child labor is illegal. Some of the produce they harvest reaches American consumers, helping to power an export boom.”