Lowell Bergman Investigates Rape in the Fields

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Frontline correspondent Lowell Bergman uncovers the hidden price that many migrant women working in America's fields and packing plants, especially those who are undocumented, are paying to keep their jobs and provide for their families. The documentary “Rape in the Fields” is about how female farm workers fall prey to their field bosses and co-workers—and dare not speak up against their attackers for fear that they’ll lose their jobs or be deported. It's is a collaboration between Frontline, Univision News, the Center for Investigative Reporting, and the Investigative Reporting Program at UC Berkeley. "Rape in the Fields" airs  June 25, at 10 p.m. on PBS.


Lowell Bergman

Comments [9]

Colim Rob Case from Yakima, WA

All claims against Juan Marin have now been dismissed as a matter of law. (See case number 2:10-cv-03033-LRS, "Order Granting Motion for Dismissal" filed 07/22/13) None of the allegations were true. Sensationalism isn't a substitute for credibility.

Moreover, NONE of the women who sued Mr. Marin accused him of rape. Zero. Thus, including him in PBS's supposed documentary "Rape in the Fields" was completely unwarranted.

Finally, the description of that documentary is "Lowell Bergman investigates the hidden reality of rape on the job in America". Well, Mr. Bergman, the reality isn't hidden any longer. The truth has surfaced: the claims against Mr. Marin were a complete sham. Journalistic ethics dictate that you should add an epilogue or footnote to your film.

Jul. 23 2013 12:49 PM
Bruce from San Francisco

One of those "hidden in plain sight" issues. Sexual abuse in the fields? Want to know about it -- ask a woman who works in the lettuce, the melons, grapes, etc. In interviewing for Lettuce Wars book I heard these stories frequently. The companies claim they're dealing with it -- not true. It's endemic to the system and for labor contractors and foremen, it's a perk of the job.

Jun. 26 2013 02:28 AM
Amy from Manhattan

jf, not "all" people can do that. It won't work in cities w/high population densities--you can't grow enough on a tall building's roof to feed all the residents in its apts.

Jun. 25 2013 01:07 PM

The guest is correct about hidden undocumented immigrant workers cleaning buildings. My office was damaged during 9/11 and, when I was allowed into it briefly to get some documents, the elevator door opened to an army of Central American looking women in white scrubs cleaning up. I got the distinct impression that this highly hazardous cleanup was not being done as per OSHA regs, to say the least.

Jun. 25 2013 12:39 PM
Amy from Manhattan

Some food companies present themselves as socially responsible, but do they take responsibility for the treatment of workers by their suppliers? Is there a way for people to find out about the working conditions at the growers of the food we buy? I'm thinking about the Coalition of Immokalee Workers & the movement against slavery on cacao farms in the chocolate industry.

Jun. 25 2013 12:28 PM
Truth & Beauty from Brooklyn

This is not merely an EEOC issue; rape is criminal. At the very least, the accused should be sitting in jail until the civil suit is settled, if not longer.

Jun. 25 2013 12:28 PM
kim from NY, NY

This is such a critical topic that is truly undervalued, rarely discussed and sweeped under the rug..women migrant workers globally are abused, discriminated against and disregarded. It's critical to fight for all workers across the chain of food production..hopefully this documentary will create greater awareness.

Jun. 25 2013 12:27 PM
jf from the future and the past

False choice, People can all grow food automated on their roofs organically. Sheeps can be used as lawn mowers and be grass fed cage free mutton.

Jun. 25 2013 12:22 PM
Peg from Upstate farm

The "Dark Underbelly" ...of Agriculture, of the Military, of Corporate America, in High Schools and all employment. It's rampant all over the place.

The perps who are committing these crimes are everywhere. Our national failure and disgrace is our "Underbelly."

Jun. 25 2013 12:20 PM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.