October 28, 2020

An agricultural manager arrested for a score of sexual assaults on temporary workers in Cartagena



The Civil Guard of the Region of Murcia, within the framework of the ‘Yawari’ operation, has developed an investigation to clarify several complaints of sexual assault allegedly committed by an agricultural manager, which has resulted in the arrest of a male, 58 years, as the alleged perpetrator of some twenty crimes of sexual assault, sexual abuse, sexual harassment and against the rights of foreign workers. The investigation began when officials from the Murcia-based CCOO union informed the Civil Guard of possible sexual assaults, committed in the workplace, on foreign workers in a precarious situation.

Judicial Police specialists took charge of the investigation and located five women who, due to their irregular situation in Spain, had not reported the alleged cases of harassment, abuse and sexual assault to which, apparently, they had been subjected since their arrival in the Murcian municipality of Torre Pacheco -located within Campo de Cartagena-.

Although they did not maintain a personal relationship between them, there was a common story. All had traveled to Murcia from other provinces to find work and contacted compatriots dedicated to recruiting employees for the agricultural sector of Campo de Cartagena.

In this way, they began their working relationship with an individual who facilitated their incorporation to work and who also transferred them to the farms where they had to work their shift.

Due to their precarious situation, both economically and socially, since the majority do not speak the language, they lack resources and work permits, they obeyed this mediator who was in charge of transferring them to the farms and paying them the day at a price, generally, by below that established for the sector, since it even detracted from them the expense corresponding to their transfer.

This situation of serious vulnerability was used by the suspect to commit sexual assaults, under threat of losing their jobs and even being deported if they filed a complaint.

The information obtained showed that, in a systematic way, the alleged aggressor had committed more than twenty crimes against sexual indemnity such as assaults, abuse and harassment; and others against the rights of workers, since in some cases the victims worked under the identity of other women, who worked or had worked legally.

The inquiries made to locate him allowed us to find out that he had been going for years to a farm, located in La Palma-Cartagena, where he took care of some domestic animals he owned and performed some agricultural tasks, a place that was emerging as the point where he led victims, separating them from the rest of the workers during the working day, to subject them to the abuses described by them.

Members of the Minor Women Team (EMUME) of the Civil Guard gathered the necessary information and established, together with specialists in the Judicial Police of the Civil Guard of Torre Pacheco, several devices aimed at locating the suspect.

Last Saturday, the 26th, given the suspicions that he could commit a new sexual assault, the Benemérita went to the La Palma-Cartagena farm and located him when he was leaving the premises. In the facilities, the agents found an old room, similar to a block, with a mattress on the floor where, presumably, he carried out the attacks.

At that time, he was arrested as the alleged perpetrator of a score of crimes against sexual indemnity (assault, abuse and harassment) and against workers’ rights. On the morning of today, the 28th, the arrested person has passed to the disposition of the Court of Instruction number 1 of Cartagena. Operation ‘Yawari’ remains open, not ruling out that the number of victims is higher.

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