Mexican Farmworkers Demand Attention after Police Violence

Thousands marched in San Quintin to protest labor exploitation and demand workers’ rights in April. The ongoing protest has been met with police repression.  San Quintin farmworkers continue to push their demands after at least 70 community members were injured. Mexican farmworkers in Mexico’s northwest state of Baja California Norte, are demanding medical attention for dozens of people injured Saturday in clashes with police. The brutality in San Quintin came during a wave of violent repression against ongoing rural protests for dignified wages and working conditions for farm day laborers, which have left at least three dead, according to demonstrators. Rural organizations representing farmworkers are also demanding that the 14 people detained in Saturday’s protests be freed, and that there is an intervention into the increasingly hostile situation in San Quintin on the basis of human rights. Police forces used rubber bullets, tear gas, and gunfire against striking farmworkers Saturday in a police crackdown. It began early that day after a private ranch owner called the police about a crowd of people, who had gathered to urge their fellow workers to continue the strike. The harsh police presence, which included an unannounced raid on workers’ homes in the community, triggered further protests and clashes throughout the day. Over 70 were injured, with seven hospitalized in critical condition. Three others were killed when police opened fire, according to farmworkers. Rural organizations in San Quintin are holding state government officials, agribusiness companies operating in the area, and the police officers who carried out the repression responsible for the recent violence and injuries. They are reiterating calls for authorities to hear and respond to the strike’s labor demands; for an end to the repression; and for the arrest warrants against the movement, especially its leadership, to be cancelled, according to Mexican newspaper La Jornada. Farmworkers have called for a boycott of the international produce companies operating in the region to begin on Tuesday to escalate the pressure of their strike action. Last week they also launched an international campaign for a living wage. San Quintin workers, many of whom are women and indigenous migrants from other Mexican states, began their strike March 17 with a work stoppage and temporary highway shutdown blocking a main transit way for agricultural goods headed northward to the U.S. Protesting inhumane working conditions akin to indentured labor, ongoing San Quintin protests demand dignified wages and conditions, an eight hour workday, an end to sexual abuse against women workers, and rights to organize without repression. Tens of thousands of farmworkers work in the agricultural San Quintin Valley

This content was originally published by teleSUR at the following address:
http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Mexican-Farmworkers-Demand-Attention-after-Police-Violence-20150511-0004.html. If you intend to use it, please cite the source and provide a link to the original article. http://www.teleSURtv.net/english

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