CAN YOU BELIEVE THERE IS STILL HUMAN SLAVERY HITTING TEXAS IN 2007?

WOMEN FORCED INTO INVOLUNTARY SERVITUDE RIGHT HERE IN HOUSTON!

United States Attorney for the Southern District of Texas Don DeGabrielle and Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Wan Kim announced that Olga Mondragon pleaded guilty today to federal civil rights charges for her role in conspiring to smuggle Central American women and girls into the United States and to placing them in a condition of involuntary servitude.

At a hearing this morning in Houston, TX, Olga Mondragon pleaded guilty to a total of thirteen counts including eight counts of holding young Central American women in a condition of forced labor at her bar in the Houston area, and a forced labor conspiracy, conspiracy to and smuggling Central American women into the United States for financial gain, and harboring illegal aliens. She is the seventh of eight defendants charged in this human trafficking case to plead guilty. Co-defendant Maria Fuentes awaits trial.

Olga Mondragon is a 47-year-old El Salvadoran national. She and her co-defendants conspired with others to smuggle female illegal aliens from Central America to Houston, Texas. Once in Houston, Olga Mondragon, working with other co-defendants held the women and girls in a condition of servitude in bars owned by the conspirators until the women had paid their smuggling debts to the defendants. The defendants used threats of harm to the women and their families to keep the women in a condition of servitude. Specifically, Olga Mondragon and her co-defendants threatened that the women’s families or children would pay the consequences if any of the young women attempted to leave before paying their smuggling debts, including threats of kidnaping and threats to report the young women to dangerous co-conspirators who could have people killed or burn people’s houses down.

“This insidious crime is nothing more than thinly-cloaked modern day slavery. Seven defendants have been held accountable for these crimes and should serve as a warning to any who are engaged in this form of human trafficking and oppression,” said United States Attorney Don DeGabrielle.