Pregnant 17 year-old dies picking grapes in California
Jess McCabe // 9 June 2008
[Edit: See also Brownfemipower’s post]
Maria Isabel Vasquez Jimenez was 17 years old and pregnant when she died, having collapsed from the heat while picking grapes on a farm in California, reports KansasCity.com.
San Joaquin County authorities are considering whether to pursue criminal charges against Vasquez Jimenez’s employer, Merced Farm Labor, which was issued three citations in 2006 for exposing workers to heat stroke, failing to train workers on heat stress prevention and not installing toilets at the work site.
The Atwater company has yet to pay the $2,250 it owes in fines.
As nezua at The Sanctuary puts it:
If only this 17 year old girl had been seen as a human being, working hard for a future, and in need of certain care and protection. Like water. And shade.
Instead, she, like so many still are, was seen and treated like a modern-day slave, with no feelings or purpose beyond production…
The first thing we need to do, before we organize ICE teams to pound down people’s doors; before we drool and dream like our hearts were hatched in an ALIPAC scheme of shipping all migrants out of “America”; before we invest in another spool of barbed wire or razor topped fencing, laser sighted guns or biometric identification; before we fund Blackwater another dime; before we sink our teeth into another piece of yummy fruit is PROTECT THE PEOPLE IN OUR MIDST.