Migrants ‘raised’ shepherd’s house in exchange for threats and deception

Juarez City- Pastor Velia HG, director of the Aposento Alto shelter, threatened the migrants with expelling them and interfering with their legal immigration process so that they would not be able to obtain asylum in the United States, if they did not do construction work both in the shelter and in their home and that of his daughter, according to the investigation of the State Attorney General’s Office.

Yesterday, a Control Judge validated the burden of proof exposed by the Northern District Prosecutor’s Office, and issued an order linking the process against Velia HG, as allegedly responsible for the crime of forced labor contemplated in the General Law to Prevent, Punish and Eradicate Crimes related to Trafficking in Persons and Attention to Victims.

The facts of which he is accused establish that during the period from October 2021 to April 2022, when serving as manager of the Aposento Alto shelter, located in the Lomas de Poleo neighborhood in Ciudad Juárez, he forced a group of six migrants to carry out forced construction and masonry work for their benefit,” reported the investigating authority.

During the continuation of the initial hearing of criminal case 4334/2022, it was revealed that in order to commit the illicit act, he threatened the victims with expelling them from the shelter or interfering with their legal immigration process, “thus causing them to submit to conditions unjust, same that at all times attempted against their human dignity.

It was said that “the investigative and litigation procedures carried out in a meticulous and detailed manner by the Unit Specialized in Crimes of Family Violence, Sexual Crimes, Against the Family and Trafficking in Persons, were decisive for the jurisdictional body to issue the legal resolution with the ratification preventive detention as a precautionary measure, setting a period of three months for the closure of the investigation.”

Two migrant women have also narrated to El Diario, via telephone from the United States, that the shepherdess forced them to carry out cleaning tasks in her house, under the argument that because they were migrants they had to do it; regardless of the fact that they paid a weekly fee of 200 pesos to sleep in the shelter.

They also claimed that he forced them to put their children to work such as filling bottles of sand for construction, telling them that they could not make them “good for nothing.”

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