Corporation Spying on Activists? Downright Creepy.

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Miami and help keep the future of New Times free.

Student activists suspect a fast food giant could be behind a woman who posed as a student to spy on the organization.

For months, the Student/Farmworker Alliance and the Coalition of Immokalee Workers have been pressuring Miami-based Burger King to give tomato pickers a needed raise. The Home of the Whopper hasn’t budged.

Last month, Marc Rodrigues, a 27 year old alliance organizer, fielded a call from a Cara Schaffer who expressed interest in joining ranks and asked to listen in on the group’s conference calls. Rodrigues soon discovered an unsettling link.

The woman heads Diplomatic Tactical Services, a South Florida firm that boasts of its covert surveillance in labor issues on its site: “Placing of an operative in the ranks is dangerous if not handled with the greatest care…”

Burger King denied connection to the mole in an article by The News-Press, which broke the story. Rodrigues doesn’t buy it. “There was a little bit of fear and surprise that they would try to infiltrate a pretty innocuous human rights organization,” Rodrigues told the New Times. “To us, it seemed kind of obvious that it’s something that Burger King is behind.”

Whatever the truth, the idea that any entity or individual hired a firm to dig up dirt on an organization fighting for farmworkers is both creepy and sleazy.

Read the full story here.

--Janine Zeitlin

Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.