Until her death on May 16, Maria Isabel Vasquez Jimenez was another undocumented farmworker at the bottom rung of California's farm production chain.
On Wednesday, nestled in a white satin coffin, the 17-year-old girl became to farm labor advocates more a symbol of what they say are secretive and abusive conditions in some of the state's orchards and vineyards.
California occupational safety authorities are investigating the girl's death in Lodi as a heat-related fatality. The United Farm Workers Union is calling her treatment an "egregious" violation of safety regulations put into effect three years ago after three farmworkers and a construction worker died of the heat.
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