José Obeth Santiz Cruz Memorial Fund

Vermonters, Farmers, and Migrant Workers all Chipping in to Support José Obeth Santiz Cruz's 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 young migrant farm worker José Obeth Santiz Cruz from the town of Las Margaritas, Chiapas, Mexico was killed in a tragic farming accident. 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 this young migrant farm worker. [ Free Press Article ]

A close family friend, also from Las Margaritas, who wished to remain anonymous and was working with Obeth 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 Obeth'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 Santiz 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 his 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 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 Obeth’s family.

José Obeth 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 OVETH SANTIS CRUZ MEMORIAL FUND made out to:

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

Please join us in honor of José Obeth Santiz Cruz and work for real immigration reform that recognizes and respects the basic needs, dignity and human rights of all immigrants.

To get involved with the growing Vermont migrant worker support networks please contact:

In Franklin County:
Naomi Wolcott-MacCausland
nwolcott@uvm.edu

In Addison County:
addison.coalition@gmail.com

In Central Vermont:
Barbara Whitchurch
bwhitchurch@ccvs.state.vt.us

Joseph Gainza
jgainza@vtlink.net

In the North East Kingdom:
Tomás Kalmar
kalmar.tomas@gmail.com

Meredith Holch
holchinator@hotmail.com