A New Take on the "Ownership" Society

Sunday, June 05, 2005

A New Take on the "Ownership" Society

Only a few days after Condi Rice's State Department gave 14 foreign countries failing grades for failing to adequately combat human trafficking for sexual exploitation, forced labor and other forms of modern-day slavery, the Associated Press reports:
Federal agents raided a migrant farm labor camp (near East Palatka, Fla.) where homeless men and women were kept in what labor officials called a version of modern-day slavery.

Four people, including the camp's owner, Ronald Evans, face federal charges in a case that officials said is likely to grow. Investigators are looking into alleged environmental violations and drugs found at the camp in Friday's raid.

... Officials said homeless people were recruited to the Evans Labor Camp through offers of room and board, along with alcohol, tobacco and drugs, which they bought on credit. But they never made enough in the field to pay it off, according to an investigative summary.

"A lot of times, they get them indebted even before they get back to the camp," federal agent Rebecca Hall said.

... Seventy-eight potato field workers were interviewed at the compound south of Jacksonville. Some were arrested on unrelated, outstanding warrants.

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