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Two arrested and 20 rescued from forced labor scam in Playa del Carmen

Playa del Carmen, Q.R. — Twenty minors were removed from a home during a police operation in Playa del Carmen Thursday. The minors, who were between the ages of one and 17, were rescued from the home by officers from the Specialized Investigation Unit for Crimes of Trafficking and Exploitation of Girls, Boys and Adolescents.

The minors were all from the state of Chiapas. They were brought to Quintana Roo to work forced labor. Two people were arrested from the scene.

According to an FGE report, “during the procedure, it was determined that the children and adolescents, between the ages of one and 17 years who remained captive in two rooms of a house located in the Centro neighborhood, were recruited by a person in the state of Chiapas, who deceived them into going to Quintana Roo.

“They were promised work, a better life and told that the money they earned would be sent to their parents or kept for them. The recruits worked days without pay from eight in the morning until eight at night selling marquesitas, shaved skins, belts and other products on the streets.

“They were not allowed to communicate with their parents, and when they asked for their money, they were told that it had already been sent it to their parents.”

Two people were arrested during the operation on charges of labor exploitation. “The minors were found in poor condition, dirty, poorly dressed and with the appearance of malnutrition,” the FGE added. They have since been placed with DIF, the state’s social services program.