Raul Lopez "Human work disposed as cheap labour"
Bishop José Raúl Vera López, the 2010 Rafto Prize laureate, is a strong defender for Mexico’s most vulnerable, and once again he gave a voice to their struggles at business seminar in Bergen on 3 November and Rafto Symposium on 4 November 2011
Thursday, 24 November 2011, by HRH Bergen, based on Rafto Foundation information
Exploitation of workers
In Raúl Vera's opinion, human beings have become chess pieces in a game of power where the Mexican government does little to prevent the exploitation of workers. "Many companies, with the complicity of the Mexican labour authorities, try to cover their identity as socially responsible companies through foundations for art, health and youth. But these foundations, in no way, make up for the chain of injustices that are generated through the breakdown of the juridical structure that the same industries caused," said Raúl Vera at the 2011 Rafto/NHH seminar "Responsible Business in Rough Places: How to secure Human Rights where the Rule of Law does not" on 3 November.
"The companies, supported by the government, maintain working conditions contrary to the rights of workers. Also, the state allows a slow labour justice and with the argument to hold jobs it allows low wages. So there are two points, the first one is that slow justice means injustice and impunity against the workers, and the second one is that the government produce an irrational difference between the salary of the director or businessman, and the workers," said Raúl Vera.
Focus on humans and not profit
At the Rafto Symposium , Raúl Vera talked about labour in the context of the global economy. He explored more deeply what he calls “the complete absence of justice in our society” where human work is disposed as cheap labour with the consequence of right less people and slaves. "In Mexico, in the last four years, more than 20 000 migrants have been kidnapped. In the last five years, deaths by execution have risen to 50 000, forced disappearances equal more than 20 000, and the number of forcibly displaced population is above 200 000. In 99 percent of the cases there is no justifiability whatsoever," said Raúl Vera in his speech. He believes the human being has to be put back into focus instead of a constant focus on profits by companies and the Mexican government.
"Labour has moved away from its true meaning as a fundamental transforming action of nature, in order to produce goods aiming at developing human life and bring fullness and quality to it. In this dynamic, the human person and her dignity has vanished away from the collective mind and heart. The common denominator in all solutions to this challenge is to bring the value and dignity of the human person back to the centre, together with all her inherent values and principles. It is essential to bring humans back to the centre, and drive all economic activity having her welfare in mind," said Raúl Vera.
José Raúl Vera López - the 2010 Rafto Prize laureate
Raúl Vera was awarded the 2010 Rafto Prize for his struggles for human rights and social justice in Mexico. He was, and continues to be, a courageous critic of power abuse and human rights violations and acts as a defender for migrants, indigenous people and other groups at risk in the Mexican society.
“From a general perspective, minorities are especially vulnerable to human rights violations, discrimination and persecution” said Raúl Vera at the Rafto Symposium 2011. He speaks out loudly and without fear against human rights violations, corruption, power abuses and the absence of the rule of law in his home country Mexico.
HRH Bergen, based on Rafto Foundation information