Mexican authorities have found 63 children between the ages of 8 and 17 working long hours in oppressive conditions at a vegetable packing plant in the country's northern border state of Coahuila, state officials said Thursday.
Officials reportedly said that the minors alleged they only received half a day off in a week and were paid 100 pesos (about $6) a day, a little above the minimum wage of about 70 pesos. The minors also said that they were only given two meals a day and were forced to sleep on thin mats in the property near Ramos Arizpe, southwest of the city of Monterrey. The minors reportedly worked alongside several dozen adults.
Authorities reportedly took the children to a shelter, and detained six men in connection to the case.
Prosecutor Yezka Garza said that authorities responded after they received a complaint from a man who tried to pick up his daughter but was told that she could not leave until she met her quota.
"We are taking statements from every boy, girl and adult to have a well-prepared case file," Garza told local TV, according to the Associated Press. "We have been flying over the entire area to look for similar properties nearby."
Despite laws banning child labor, the practice is commonplace in Mexico. According to the World Bank, 870,000 children under the age of 13 were believed to be working in 2013 in the country, and 6.3 percent of Mexico’s children were found to be working between 2002 and 2012. Child laborers in Mexico largely work in the country's agricultural and menial labor sectors.