Labor Contractors Suspected Farm Labor Organizer Murdered in Mexico By DAN La BOTZ
Santiago Rafael Cruz, an organizer for the Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC) based in Toledo, Ohio, was found murdered in the union's office in Monterrey, Mexico on the morning of April 9. He had been bound hand and foot and beaten to death. Circumstances suggest labor contractors may have had him killed. Cruz, 29, had worked for FLOC in the United States for four years organizing immigrant agricultural workers. For less than a month working for the FLOC in the Monterrey office that was set up in 2005 to help process H2A visa workers whose employers were under FLOC contracts. FLOC has asked the AFL-CIO and Rep. Marcy Kaptur's (D-Ohio) to request that the U.S. State Department press the Mexican government to conduct a thorough and speedy investigation to bring the killers to justice. John Sweeney, president of the AFL-CIO, has called on the Mexican and U.S. governments to ensure that there is a "thorough and professional investigation" of the murder. FLOC has asked the Inter-American Human Rights Commission to take on Cruz's murder as an official case.
Who would want Cruz killed? To answer that question we have to understand the labor contracting system in Mexico.