Activists for "bracero" migrant workers released from custody in Mexico City
MEXICO CITY – Ten activists for former “bracero” migrant workers were released from police custody in Mexico City but still may face charges after forcing their way into government offices, federal prosecutors said Saturday.The members of Braceroproa were arrested on Wednesday during a protest at the federal Interior Department, which is overseeing a newly created fund to compensate former braceros for money withheld from their paychecks when they worked in the United States from the 1940s to the 1960s.The money, meant as individual savings, apparently was handed over to Mexico’s government by the U.S. government and then vanished.Mexico’s Congress this year approved a US$27 million (euro22 million) fund to partially compensate the bracero workers, but activists argue that the rules governing the fund will block payments to many who should receive them.They also argue that the money would amount to only about US$200 (euro165) each if spread across all with a right to payment.The protesters detained on Wednesday included Braceroproa leader Ventura Gutierrez.Mexico’s attorney general’s office confirmed the releases, but did not have information about possible charges against the protesters.Glass doors were broken at the Interior Department as protesters threw rocks at the building and forced their way inside.Leaders of the movement had appealed to the U.S. Embassy to help them win the release of those jailed at the protest.Vail, Colorado
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