43 Mexican immigrants - who were found living under conditions of "modern slavery," have been granted temporary work permits by the Government of Canada.
Spanish news agency Efe have reported that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SRE), released a statement that confirmed "the Government of Canada has provided extensive support and, following the corresponding protocol on trafficking in persons, confirms that the 43 victims at liberty, have received a permit from temporary work and have a designated translator."
The statement eludes to the discovery last week of 43 Mexicans found living in "modern slavery" while working in Ontario's vacation properties.
According to Canadian authorities, the Ontario Provincial Police carried out an operation in the community of Barrie that led to the release of 43 victims of human trafficking for the purpose of labor exploitation, most of them male Mexicans, between the ages of 20 and 46.
Ontario police began investigating as early as last year, and executed 12 search warrants. Rick Barnum, of the Ontario provincial police, said the victims were brought into Canada believing they would be offered legitimate employment opportunities, according to Mexican publication, Sinembargo.
The Mexicans were forced to live in "miserable" conditions and to pay large sums of money to the alleged smugglers who brought them. Barnum said that sometimes victims were left with just $50 a month after paying fees to their employers.
"Last night I went to sleep as a slave, this morning I woke up like a free man," said one of the people released to one of the investigators, according to Canadian televisin network, CBC.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SRE) confirmed that, within the framework of bilateral collaboration, the Government of Canada has given widespread support and, following the corresponding protocol on trafficking in persons, confirms that the 43 victimes are at liberty, received a permit from temporary work and have a designated translator."
The SRE continued by saying, "[also] they have been given medical attention to rule out any situation that invoves damage to their physical integrity," he added.
Meanwhile, the SRE emphasized that the Canadian Embassy, and the Mexican consular network in Canada embark on a comprehensive information campaign so that visitors to Canada are aware of devious schemes utilized by criminal networks of human trafficking, that manipulate those seeking jobs through fake social media campaigns.