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Tue Jul 7, 2020, 07:29 AM

Brazil shocked by woman held as a slave for years at family mansion

JULY 6, 2020 / 3:39 PM / UPDATED 15 HOURS AGO
Brazil shocked by woman held as a slave for years at family mansion
Fabio Teixeira

RIO DE JANEIRO (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The discovery of a domestic worker kept as a slave in a mansion in a wealthy part of Sao Paulo for years has shocked Brazil, with labor prosecutors seeking a large R$1 million ($190,000) in damages as the case moved to court.

The 61-year-old woman rescued by labor authorities last month worked for the same family since 1998, and was found living in a storage shed outside the mansion. Labor authorities asked for the name of the Brazilian woman to not be shared.

Court documents said for months on end the woman was not allowed into the mansion, slept on a couch, and had to use a bucket for a toilet. She depended on a neighbor for food and other basics and did not have a vacation day in 22 years.

The couple who live in the house, Mariah Corazza Barreto Ustundag and her husband Dora Ustandag, and Sonia Regina Corazza, Mariah’s mother and owner of the property, were charged with keeping a worker in slave like conditions.

. . .

The rescue shocked Brazilians with many taking to social media where Mariah Ustundag was identified as an executive for Avon. She was fired by the beauty company on June 26, Avon said.

Avon said that they will provide assistance to the victim.

“The Avon Institute ... decided to provide support to the victim, with psychological assistance, payment of one year’s rent in a location chosen by her and the purchase of household items,” the company said in a statement to the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

. . .

Last year Brazilian labor inspectors found 1,054 workers in slavery like conditions. In the past 25 years, more than 54,000 people were victims of slave labor.


This lady could use an angel.

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