The Fulford File | Rape, Farmworkers, And The $PLC—Who Are The Real Criminals?
Print Friendly and PDF

This is part of a Center for Immigration Studies article Immigration and the Press: Four Stories from the First Week of January, By Jerry Kammer, January 13, 2014. He's talking here about just one of the four stories, Female Farm Workers Speak Up About Sexual Harassment, from NPR's "Morning Edition", January 4, 2014:

Here is the intro of host Linda Wertheimer:

"Agriculture is one of America's most hazardous industries, but there's another danger for female farm workers — rape and sexual assault. It's difficult for any victim of sexual assault to press charges, and female farm workers have to overcome additional hurdles. Yet some are starting to speak up about the hidden price they may have to pay to keep a job in the fields."

And here is how reporter Sasha Khoka introduced the specific case of alleged rape that is the story's focal point:

"It started with a missing paycheck. In 2006, Guadalupe Chavez, a farm worker in California's Central Valley, was supposed to earn $245 for a week of picking pomegranates, money the widowed mother of two needed urgently to pay her bills. When she went to track down the check, a supervisor she never met before told her someone had it out in the fields. He said to follow him there in her car."

Like the ABC story [ note: A sob story about "The Human Cost (to illegals) of Crossing the U.S. Border"], this is solid, important, admirable journalism. Like the ABC story, it is illustrative of the kind of story that reporters gravitate to. They are drawn to stories that show immigrants as innocent victims who need protection.

Having cozied up to the Main Stream Media, Kammer dares voice a caveat:

My criticism is that little reporting shows an interest in telling the human stories and showing the human faces of those who are eager to speak up about the negative effects of mass immigration.

Yes, some of those who complain are racist and nativist, deserving of the epithets heaped upon those who want to regulate immigration. But most are good people, three-dimensional human beings who are struggling with complex circumstance. Their stories also deserve to be told and understood.  

Of course, Kammer didn’t need to throw in that business about “nativists” deserving epithets—it’s a silly triangulating habit of his, see CIS' Krikorian, Kammer Make Fatal Concessions To SPLC.

But MSM stories about female farm workers being victimized are indeed common. My complaint (it’s more than a caveat): they don't say who is victimizing them.  

The answer seems to be: “other immigrants”—or to put it another way “Hispanic males.”

The NPR story is unusual for a rape story, in that it names Guadalupe Chavez, the alleged victim, but not the accused—apparently because he was acquitted. They don’t say, and I can’t find any record of a trial in news reports, since contemporary stories, if any, would have suppressed Chavez’s name, as is traditional.

But was he an immigrant? Chavez is interviewed by NPR—in Spanish:

SASHA KHOKHA: It started with a missing paycheck. In 2006, Guadalupe Chavez, a farm worker in California's Central Valley, was supposed to earn $245 for a week of picking pomegranates, money the widowed mother of two needed urgently to pay her bills. When she went to track down the check, a supervisor she never met before told her someone had it out in the fields. He said to follow him there in her car.

GUADALUPE CHAVEZ: (Foreign language spoken)

KHOKHA: He stopped in an isolated pistachio orchard. Then, she says, he got out of his truck and demanded her underpants in exchange for her paycheck.

CHAVEZ: (Through Translator) He said I'm the supervisor, I'm in charge here. And I remember that he had told me that he had a gun in the truck and so when he had said that, he banged hard on the car with his hand. I thought he's serious. If I don't do what he says, he can kill me.

KHOKHA: Then, Chavez says, the supervisor reached through her car window and forced his hand between her legs.

CHAVEZ: (Through Translator) He was hurting me. Imagine his fingers were all dirty with pesticides. I wanted for him to stop and hoped that it was all he wanted. I thought if he kills me, who will take care of my children?

If Chavez can't speak English, that presumably means her assailant was speaking Spanish during the assault. Was he a native speaker of Spanish—an immigrant himself?

NPR doesn’t say.

In fact, all the stories about sexual harassment of female farmworkers I've been able to find have involved Hispanic, probably immigrant, overseers. Here are two from the same Huffington Post story

  • “At the trial, Abarca was among more than a dozen women who had accused a foreman, Juan Marin, and a handful of crew leaders at Evans Fruit of sexually assaulting or harassing them.“
  • Tamayo worked for Harris Farms, a major agribusinesses based in California's Central Valley, and she said she was raped by a gun-carrying supervisor named Rene Rodriguez in a desolate almond orchard just after her mid-morning break. Rodriguez would then force himself on her twice more, she said.”

[A Problem of Evidence, by Bernice Young, Huffington Post, September 14, 2013]

In the Tamayo case the supervisor was definitely “also a Mexican immigrant” according to an earlier NPR Story. [Prosecuting Sexual Harassment on Calif. Farms,  by Sasha Khokha, August 1, 2006]

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued employers in 2010 over a case where

the young female worker was subjected to sexual advances, sexually inappropriate touching and abusive and offensive sexual comments about the male sex organ by a male co-worker.

Giumarra Vineyards Sued by EEOC for Sexual Harassment and Retaliation Against Farm Workers,  January 13, 2010

That sounds like the kind of thing that happens if you have male Mexican co-workers, or if you’re a girl and pass male Mexican workers on the street: see Diversity Is Strength! It's Also…Ethnic Come-ons, By Athena Kerry on February 8, 2006.

Here's a quite recent story:

Yuba County authorities suspect a landscaper of raping two women employees.

Pasqual Atanacio Gonzalez, 46, of Yuba City was arrested by the Yuba County Sheriff’s deputies on Dec. 14.

Gonzalez is suspected of raping a 35-year-old Yuba City woman in his car on Dec. 12 at a secluded area in Plumas Lake. It was the woman’s first day of work for Gonzalez.

Yuba City landscaper suspected of raping two employees, By Bill Lindelof, Sacramento Bee, January 2, 2014.

Apparently the chief danger to all these women is that they’re surrounded by Hispanic males in positions of authority.  That would be true if they’d stayed home in Mexico.

As for the giant corporations involved, I have very little sympathy for them, but of course they can’t say “we won’t hire Mexican supervisors—can’t trust them with the women”—that’s forbidden by law.

This is from a 2009 Southern Poverty Law Center report Under Siege: Life for Low-Income Latinos in the South [PDF]

Rape of Latina Teen Goes Unreported, Unpunished

The fear that keeps many immigrants from reporting crimes runs so deep that even rape can go unreported and unpunished.

That was the case in 2007 when a Latino family in south Georgia contacted the SPLC about the sexual assault of a 13-year-old girl. A family acquaintance [emphasis added] had raped the girl, and her relatives were unsure of how to protect the child. Most of the family members were undocumented immigrants.

When the SPLC contacted the local prosecutor about the case, he said he would be willing to prosecute the suspect. But there was a caveat. The prosecutor said that if the girl came forward and he discovered that she was undocumented, he would feel obligated to contact Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

SPLC attorneys believed that the girl and her family were eligible to receive immigration relief under the federal Violence Against Women Act. However, given the prosecutor’s threats, the family concluded the risk of coming forward was too great.

The family decided to not report the crime at all. The rapist went unpunished.

If the rapist is a “family acquaintance” that means he’s also a Mexican immigrant, doesn’t it?

Perhaps he should be deported. But deportation of criminals is something the SPLC ($PLC to is as much interested in preventing—see its war against the  287(g) program—as it in preventing the deportation of the victim.

The SPLC’s assumption: the evil of immigration enforcement caused this situation. But of course, the evil is actually in the parents—they’ve come north to steal some American money by living here illegally in a farmworker community, and as a result, their 13-year old daughter is raped by another member of the illegal farmworker community.

Then the parents decide not to prosecute the rapist, because they want to stay in America and make more money.

And the SPLC is aiding and abetting this decision.

Who are the real criminals?

James Fulford [email him] is a writer and editor for

Print Friendly and PDF