On May 16th, police found a municipal truck transporting 20 undocumented adults and one minor. The individuals being transported were undocumented and appear to all be victims of forced labor and exploitation.
The truck, which belongs to the town of Napenay, was stopped on Route 16, between Pampa del Infierno and Los Frontones in the province of Chaco.
Chaco is in the northern region of Argentina and is known for its wildlife and natural reserves. These 21 people claimed to have spent the past 20 days clearing fields with very poor labor conditions.
Mayor Carlos Balbuena had first-hand, inside information from a municipal employee who had spoken to a family member who escaped. From there, Balbuena prompted the police to head to the property and rescue the 21 people instead of filing a complaint to the police headquarters.
The federal police of the Presidencia Roque Sáenz Peña city was responsible for conducting a routine check of the area. Because the unit was dealing with a situation involving undocumented people, the federal court was involved as well.
“In these cases, our priority is always to take care of the physical and emotional integrity of trafficking victims,” said Security Minister Patricia Bullrich.
Once recovered, the victims confirmed that they were working under unjust circumstances such as limited rest and food during the work day.
The consequences for the truck and the workers still stand unknown.