Brazil prosecutors find Olympic village workers living in squalor

The headquarter of Rio 2016 Olympic Games Organising Committee is pictured in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 12, 2015. REUTERS/Sergio Moraes

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - A company working on the Olympic village that will receive athletes in Rio de Janeiro next year has housed some of its own workers in conditions that public prosecutors compared to slavery.

A sting by a Rio labor court and Brazil’s labor ministry found 11 workers living in squalor as part of their work for Brasil Global Serviços, which is subcontracting on the Ilha Pura residential complex for the 2016 Olympic Games.

“There were cockroaches, rats and sewage in the residences. Many slept outside given all the filth,” said prosecutor Valeria Correa in a public statement on Friday.

“Considering the degrading conditions and a unilateral change to the contract, when the company stopped paying rent, there are elements here characterizing working conditions analogous to slavery,” she added.

Representatives for Brasil Global could not immediately be reached for comment.

Prosecutors said most of the workers had come from poorer states in Brazil’s northeast on the promise that the company would pay their room and board. One of them told prosecutors that he lived with as many as 30 other workers in a single house in the Beira Rio slum.

Reporting by Brad Haynes; Editing by Tom Heneghan