By John Ensor •
Updated: 14 Sep 2023 • 11:28
Worker kept in inhumane conditions.
A report this week has highlighted a dark side to the picturesque vision of equestrian centres.
In a recent incident in Tarragona, a Peruvian national found himself trapped in a nightmare of labour exploitation, living in squalid conditions, surrounded by manure and waste. A report published on Wednesday, September 13, gave details of how justice prevailed when the Guardia Civil stepped in.
In Baix Penedes, two individuals were arrested for the crime of trafficking for labour exploitation. They suspects preyed on the victim’s vulnerable status as an illegal migrant in Spain, with the promise of legitimate employment. The victim, responding to a job advert, was lured into becoming a groom, a role he undertook under appalling conditions.
Living in a cramped warehouse within the horse stables, the victim endured abhorrent hygiene standards. Water for personal needs and cooking was sourced from a nearby trough, lacking basic sanitary measures. Furthermore, he lacked the necessary safety equipment for his tasks, which compounded the hardships.
The consequences were dire, leading to various health issues, including eye and skin problems, substantial weight loss, and severe emotional distress. Shockingly, he was compelled to work even when unwell. His employers directly managed his wages, which further reinforced their control over him.
In a collaborative effort with competent social services, the Guardia Civil secured aid for the victim. This encompassed decent housing, temporary residence, and work permits, with personal help throughout the process. A true testament to the dedication of those involved.
This operation was meticulously coordinated with the Prosecutor’s Office for Human Trafficking and Immigration in Tarragona, the Territorial Labour Inspection of Tarragona, and the Cruz Blanca Foundation. Subsequent legal proceedings have been entrusted to Investigative Court No. 6 of El Vendrell, Tarragona.
The horrors endured by the victim serve as a shocking reminder that exploitation can lurk in even the most idyllic settings. Vigilance, collaboration, and swift intervention by authorities are essential in safeguarding the vulnerable among us.
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Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina.
He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.
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