Stories Humanize the Other

Notice in this story the forces of humanization and dehumanization …

The death of María Isabel Vásquez Jiménez was not in vain.
The 17-year-old undocumented farm worker from Oaxaca, México died of heat exhaustion back in 2008 while she worked in a grape vineyard on a farm east of Stockton.
Temperatures had risen above 95 degrees and the nearest access to water was a mere 10-minute walk away. Court documents reveal that a strict foreman didn’t allow those working in the vineyard that day a long enough break to stop and get a drink.
When Vásquez collapsed, her fiancé, Florentino Bautista held her in his arms while the foreman and others in charge that day, took several hours to react and take her to the nearest hospital.
The result was devastating.
Vásquez entered in a coma and her body temperature had soared to 108 degrees. She died on May 16, 2008, two days after collapsing. She was two months pregnant with her first child.
Vásquez’s death created an uproar across the state.

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