Mexico: Concern that prosecution of anti-sweatshop advocate Martín Barrios is retaliation for campaigns against poor working conditions; Gap urges state govt. to investigate quickly & ensure his safety

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Author: Emir Olivares Alonso, La Jornada [México]

La trasnacional GAP envió una carta al gobernador de Puebla, Mario Marín Torres, en la que le expresó su preocupación por la situación de Martín Barrios Hernández, presidente de la Comisión de Derechos Humanos y Laborales del Valle de Tehuacán (Cdhl), y las denuncias de violaciones a los derechos de trabajadores de maquiladoras poblanas. En tanto, Lynda Yanz, directora de la Red de Solidaridad de la Maquila -organización canadiense-, señaló en entrevista que su agrupación ha establecido contacto con diversas trasnacionales, entre ellas GAP, Nike y Levi's, para que "usen su fuerza" y presionen a los maquiladores de Tehuacán, Puebla, para que cumplan la ley.

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Article
9 January 2006

Sweat Shop Fighter Jailed - Mexican defended workers making clothes for Canada, U.S. [Mexico]

Author: Sarah K. Cox, Tyee [Canada]

Martín Barrios Hernández...[was] arrested December 29... Barrios is accused of attempting to blackmail the owner of several factories that assemble clothing for export... Coincidentally, Barrios had been pursuing legal channels to obtain severance pay for 163 employees recently fired from one of the factories, after demanding that working conditions comply with the law ...Amnesty International wrote that Barrios' "arrest and prosecution may be an attempt to prevent him from carrying out his legitimate human rights work."... Gap Inc.'s vice-president of Social Responsibility, Dan Henkle, has written to Puebla State Governor Mario Marín Torres, urging the governor "to take immediate action to investigate" the charges against Barrios, and his arrest and imprisonment, and to "take appropriate steps to ensure Mr. Barrios' safety."... [also refers to Guess, Levi's (Levi Strauss), Tommy Hilfiger]

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