Guards sow fear in sugar camps

In an article published by the investigative news service The Intercept, Homelands’ Sandy Tolan and his reporting partner Euclides Cordero Nuel document charges of abuse by private security guards hired by the giant Dominican sugar exporter Central Romana.

Workers describe how heavily armed bands of masked men descend on labor camps in the middle of the night and forcibly evict residents. Many of the victims are undocumented laborers from Haiti. In some cases, the night raids appear to be the company’s way of informing older workers that their services are no longer needed.

Tolan and Cordero Nuel won a 2021 Overseas Press Club Award for their reporting on alleged labor abuses by Central Romana. Their earlier reports appeared in Mother Jones and on the podcast and public radio program Reveal. In response to their reporting, the chairman of the U.S. House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Trade called for a “swift and thorough investigation” into the labor practices of Dominican sugar producers.