CBP detains Mexican tomatoes from suspected forced labor firm

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Los Angeles, Nov 3 (EFE) .- Customs and Border Protection (CBP) personnel at the Pharr International Bridge in Texas stopped a shipment of tomatoes from a company suspected of using forced labor in their fields.

“Our agriculture specialists paid close attention to detail when examining a shipment of tomatoes and noticed that something was not right,” said Port of Entry Director Carlos Rodríguez.

“Their discovery of an apparent attempt to circumvent the unloading arrest warrant underscores CBP’s commitment to ensuring that merchandise, including agricultural products, produced by forced labor do not enter US commerce and that companies involved in such practices do not profit. of that work, “he added.

The agency said in a statement that the interception occurred on October 24 when an agricultural specialist examining a shipment of fresh tomatoes discovered that the import information provided indicated that the shipment came from a company unaffected by the arrest warrant for unloading. .

A more detailed review of the documentation and the shipment revealed that the tomatoes came from Hortícola Tom, one of the companies cited in a recent order to stop shipments of that vegetable from farms in Mexico suspected of using forced labor.

Consequently, CBP stopped the shipment and returned it to Mexico.

On October 21, CBP ordered shipments of fresh Mexican tomatoes from the Agropecuarios Tom and Hortícola Tom firms and their subsidiaries to be stopped at all ports of entry in the country, suspected of the use of forced labor.

The agency then noted that it identified at least five of the International Labor Organization (ILO) indicators of forced labor during its investigation, including abuse of vulnerability, deception, wage withholding, debt bondage and living conditions. and abusive work.

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(c) EFE Agency

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