"Charity is commendable, everyone should be charitable. But Justice aims to create a social order in which, if individuals choose not to be charitable, people still don't go hungry, unschooled or sick without care. Charity depends on the vicissitudes of whim and personal wealth, justice depends on commitment instead of circumstance.
Faith-based charity provides crumbs from the table; faith-based justice offers a place at the table"
~Bill Moyers

Saturday, June 21, 2008

"Blood Wine" Corrido de Maria Isabel Jiménez Vázquez by Dr. Marcos Gutiérrez.

The stories of the people are told by the people, in poems, ballads and specifically in Mexico, with Corridos.

Maria Isabel Jiménez Vázquez with her Prometido, left her pueblo and family in Oaxaca, up on the Sierra Madre Occidental for California, hoping to earn some money with which to support the family they hoped to have, she was two months pregnant.

They call it "The American Dream", for some, I'm told, it becomes a reality, but for the overwhelming majority, there is the rude awakening to the "American Nightmare", in a land which values machines more than human beings, all in the pursuit of the "All-Mighty Dollar" Which will make their own "American Dream" A reality, leaving in their wake, pain, misery and often death.

As it was with María Isabel, on her third day of work, she collapsed of heat exhaustion in a farm that didn't provide human working conditions for workers laboring under a head-splitting sun in the fields of Lodi California. where the summer temperatures raise above 100 degrees, just like in the fateful day of her preventable and premature death.

"Jiménez was working in vineyards owned by West Coast Grape Farming, which is owned in part by Fred Franzia of California's Bronco Wine Co – the producer of the Charles Shaw brand, also known as Two Buck Chuck.

Her fiancée told officials that the supervisors did not call for medical help after Jimenez collapsed, didn't offer her water or shade, and later told him to lie to hospital staff about his fiancee's age and whom she was working for."

Her bosses didn't care and she didn't get a sendoff as big as the one that Tim Russert got, whom they say was a great man, but her compañeros Farm Workers remembered her on a march from Lodi to Sacramento where they demonstrated their outrage at the neglect to enforce Labor Laws in the fields by authorities (Cal OSHA), we learned that the same employer had been previously cited and fined for similar violations.

Elsewhere, many of us who also heard about her story, became sad, outraged, angry...
Dr. Marcos Gutiérrez and his audience talked about it in his program, he made the trip to Sacramento where he joined the marchers, made interviews, recorded them to share with us, but he wanted to do more so her story is passed on, so we don't forget that we must not let these crimes happen anymore.

He wrote a Corrido that he sings and where he includes some of the interviews he conducted during the march.

Here it is. (Bilingual, Spa & Eng)

En Memoria De Maria Isabel Jimenez Vázquez
Corrido de, y, por Dr. Marcos Gutiérrez
"Blood Wine" ("Vino Ensangrentado") ==>

Blood Wine Corrido by "Dr. Marcos Gutierrez of ""La Grande" KIQI 1010AM SF and KATD 990AM SAC, Hecho en California", free MP3 Download!

Our gente always sings our struggles and our victories, the Farm Workers left us 'canciones de lucha'

"No Nos Moveran" == >
I Second Dr. Marcos Gutiérrez and add: "Mejor morir luchando que vivir arrollidad@s"

Video: María's fiance Florentino Bautista talks about what happened on May 14./Video: El Prometido de Maria, Florentino Bautista, habla sobre lo que pasó el 14 de mayo

There is an investigation on her death and the abuses to the Farm Workers, her mother has filed a civil suit for wrongful death.

Teen farmworker's death, probed as heat-related, stirs outcry

When Vasquez Jimenez collapsed, she had been on the job three days, pruning vines for $8 an hour in a vineyard owned by West Coast Grape Farming.

During eight hours of work beginning at 6 a.m. in heat that topped 95 degrees, Bautista said that workers were given only one water break, at 10:30 a.m. And the water was a 10-minute walk away – too far, he said, to keep up with the crew and avoid being scolded.

Vasquez Jimenez collapsed at 3:30 p.m., Bautista said, and for at least five minutes, the foreman did nothing but stare at the couple while Bautista cradled her.

Bautista said the foreman told him to place the teenager in the back seat of a van, which was hot inside, and put a wet cloth on her.

Later, Bautista said, the foreman told a driver to take the pair to a store to buy rubbing alcohol and apply it to see if it would revive Maria Isabel Jiménez Vázquez. When that failed, the driver took the couple to a clinic in Lodi, Bautista said, where her body temperature had reached more than 108 degrees.

"The foreman told me to say that she wasn't working for a contractor, that she got sick while exercising," Bautista said in Spanish. "He said she was underage, and it would cause a lot of problems."

Bautista and family members said that clinic staff rushed the girl to a hospital, where she was revived several times before finally succumbing two days later without ever regaining consciousness. Doctors later discovered she was two months pregnant.

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