Argentine agents arrest 23 in 'slave labor' raids

June 13, 2013 at 11:12 AM

BUENOS AIRES, June 13 (UPI) -- Twenty-three people were arrested in raids across Argentina for their alleged connections to a human-trafficking ring, authorities said.

Officials said agents raided more than 70 locations in 10 provinces Wednesday, rescuing more than 200 Colombians working in subhuman conditions, CNN reported.

"We are looking at a case of slave labor, but in the modern concept of the term," said Carlos Sanchez, Argentina's director general of social security.

The workers were "not in chains but they were subjugated and manipulated psychologically and worked in squalor, Sanchez said.

Authorities said the 23 people are accused of recruiting victims into the human-trafficking scheme. Investigators said Colombians were brought to Argentina, then forced to work off their travel debts.

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