The El Paso leadership loves to tout that El Paso is one of the safest cities in the nation. As I have documented many times before, it is a lie based on dubious accolades and more importantly, on El Paso prosecutors and law enforcement pretending that if one element of a crime was committed outside of El Paso, then it really isn’t a crime that should be tracked in El Paso. There is one case where a man was kidnapped in El Paso and found murdered in Cd. Juárez. Because the body was found in Juárez, the kidnapping, and the subsequent death are not included in the El Paso statistics, although the fact that if the man had not been kidnapped in El Paso he would not have been murdered later, as a result of the kidnapping. Last week there was another crime that was prosecuted elsewhere that has a nexus to El Paso but you aren’t likely going to hear about it because it would further destroy the safest city lie.
According to a press release by the Department of Justice on August 8, 2016, Olga Sandra Murra was convicted of four felony counts in Fort Worth Texas. She was convicted of holding two Mexican undocumented women as slaves. Yes, you read that right – slaves. She faces between 10 to 20 years of prison on the felonies. She is expected to be sentenced on November 28, 2016.
Murra was born Olga Sandra Capon in El Paso on January 25, 1952, according to El Paso County birth records. According to various news reports, Olga Murra moved to Mexico soon after her birth where she lived until 1997. In 1997, Murra moved to El Paso where she ran a home cleaning service using an undocumented immigrant as slave labor. In 1998, Olga Murra brought in another undocumented immigrant to also work as a slave in her house cleaning business in El Paso.
Murra also opened up another house cleaning business in Fort Worth where she had moved to after leaving El Paso. In Fort Worth, Murra used the same two undocumented immigrants as slaves in her business. The undocumented women were forced to work up to seven days per week without a paycheck. According to the justice department release, both women were forced to sleep on the floor. They were restricted to bread and water for meals.
One of the undocumented immigrants were forced to work at a McDonald’s in 2001 and at a Walmart in 2003 with falsified documents provided by Olga Murra. The woman was forced to give her paychecks to Murra. The slave worked at McDonald’s for about a year and at Walmart for about six months.
The case was prosecuted in Fort Worth but the crime originally originated in El Paso, Texas. That is where the women were first brought into the US illegally and put to work as slaves.
Both the United Nations and the United States issue human trafficking reports annually, yet the true extent of contemporary slavery is not known. This is especially true in the United States where the focus remains on other countries, instead of internally. Modern-day slavery in the United States is usually centered around undocumented immigrants forced to work for no money, or subpar wages – usually in the agricultural sector and in domestic work. There is strong evidence that many immigrant workers working on H-2 visas for low-skilled wage earners are working slavery conditions. Although some are paid wages, their wages are below mandated minimum wage standards. Others are not paid any wages but are required to work under the threat of being reported to immigration officials.
In the case of Olga Murra, she kept two Mexican undocumented women as slaves exploiting them for her business and for her household needs. Mura exploited the women for almost 19 years, both in El Paso and in Fort Worth. Although a significant part of the crime was committed in El Paso, the criminal elements will not be included in the annual crime reports that the City of El Paso puts out each year. How many other Olga Murra’s keeping slaves in El Paso are there? We may never know because slavery isn’t part of the metric that the City of El Paso uses to track crimes that make it one of the safest cities in the United States.