Vermonters, Farmers, and Migrant Workers all Chipping in to Support José Obeth Santiz Cruz's Family

For Immediate Release Contact: Brendan O’Neill
December 24, 2009 VT Migrant Farmworker Solidarity Project
Vermont Workers’ Center
802-825-1609

Vermonters, Farmers, and Migrant Workers

all Chipping in to Support José Obeth Santiz Cruz

family after tragic farm accident and asking others to donate

to the new José Obeth Santiz Cruz Memorial Fund

On December 22, 2009 in Fairfield, Vermont on Howrigan dairy farm 20 year old José Obeth Santiz Cruz from the town of Las Margaritas, Chiapas, Mexico was killed in a tragic farming accident. Last night, on December 23rd, a Candle Light Vigil was held in Burlington in order to remember and honor the hard work, sacrifice and tragic death of migrant farm worker José Obeth Santiz Cruz.

A close family friend, also from Las Margaritas, who wished to remain anonymous and was working with Santiz Cruz when he was killed in the tragic farming accident said, "What I hope is that friends, as fellow human beings, anyone of you who can help with anything you can give to Santiz Cruz's family it would be appreciated." He also said that he would gathering support from the migrant farm worker community. O’Neill, who helped organize the vigil last night while visiting an anonymous farm today was given $150.00 by 3 migrant workers who contributed $50.00 each. Luis Velasquez, one of the workers said, as he handed over the money, “It’s just so sad. So, you give what you can.”

Please donate to the newly created "José Obeth Santis Cruz Memorial Fund" in order to honor the hard work, sacrifice and tragic death of migrant farm worker José Obeth Santiz Cruz. One hundred percent of your donation will go to Santiz Cruz's family.

Last night, after hearing about the Candle Light Vigil, Danielle Lopez, a fellow VT migrant farm worker who didn't even personally know José Obeth Santiz Cruz, said that he would also be gathering support and donations from the migrant farm worker community. "I don't know any migrant farm worker that would hesitate to give money right now to help José Obeth's family," he said.

At least one farmer, who also chose to remain anonymous, said that he would be calling upon the Vermont farming community to contribute to José Obeth’s family.

Santiz Cruz is one of approximately 2,000 migrant farm workers who have come to the aid of our struggling Vermont Dairy Farms in crisis and yet despite their essential contributions to Vermont due to an unjust and broken U.S. immigration system they are forced to live and in this case die in fear, silence and in the shadows. In the state of Vermont and throughout the United States the invisible hands that milk so many of our cows and pick so many of our vegetables, which literally puts the food on the table, live and die invisibly without the dignity and respect that all human beings deserve.

Please donate now to the José Obeth Santiz Cruz Memorial Fund by writing and mailing a tax deductible CHECK with the memo/subject line José Obeth Santiz Cruz Memorial Fund made out to:

Vermont Workers’ Center
294 N. Winooski Avenue
Burlington VT 05401

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