A man and a woman, Jonny Coico and Vilma Zeña, have been sentenced to 35 and 32 years, respectively, for the death of two minors in a fire at a shopping gallery where they were locked in a dumpster. These convicted individuals owned the gallery and were exploiting young workers, informed the Superior Court of Justice (CSJ) of Lima, Peru.
They were found guilty of the crimes of violation of personal liberty and trafficking in persons aggravated for the purpose of labor exploitation and slavery.
This is Peru’s first successful conviction of slavery under new modern-slavery laws.
The convicted were also fined S / 469,200 (about US $140,000) and S / 459,000 (about US $137,000), respectively, to the legal heirs of two deceased, in addition to S / 5,000 (US $ 1,500) and S / 10,000 ( about US $ 3,000) to others affected during the fire.
Coico and Zeña were the owners of some containers where they made an informal workshop in which they supposedly changed the brands of fluorescent tubes for others of higher quality.
In that space, and locked with external locks, worked Jovi Herrera Alania, 20, and Jorge Luis Huaman Villalobos, 19, fatal victims of that great fire.
The office of the International Labor Organization (ILO) for the Andean countries affirmed that the conditions of work discovered in the place “approximate modern forms of slavery such as forced labor, which affects millions of people around the world.”
O.U.R. Aftercare victim receiving were given to other young workers who survived the fire.
Rescue kits were provided by O.U.R. Aftercare for the survivors. Peru law enforcement thanked O.U.R. for being part of the aftercare of the survivors and are very grateful we were all able to partner to bring traffickers to justice.
Although this was a very unfortunate case of extremely inhumane treatment, we want to congratulate our law enforcement partners for the progress in their first conviction of slavery and bringing these traffickers to justice.
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