A team from Brazil’s Labor Ministry found “degrading” living conditions for 133 sugarcane workers employed by an ethanol company whose investors include former President Clinton and other high-profile financial players.
At five sites inspected, workers “complained they were suffering from hunger and cold, and all of the locations were overcrowded and with terrible sanitary conditions,” according to a statement issued Friday by Jaqueline Carrijo, who led the inspections last month.
The target of the probe, Brazil Renewable Energy Co., known as Brenco, apologized over the weekend and said it is fixing the problems at its rural operations, which turn sugarcane into ethanol.
Clinton’s connection is via an investment in Brenco by The Yucaipa Cos., a U.S.-based fund in which Clinton was a senior advisor until last year. His investment in Brenco is valued between $15,001 and $50,000, according to a financial dislosure report submitted last year by his wife, presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Bill Clinton invests in Brazilian sweatshop.. slave labor next?