KENT KLICH   Street Children in Mexico City

Chino and Sonrisa

Chino is having another one of his epileptic attacks. His friends have tried to get him to stop sniffing paint-thinner, which provokes them. But he keeps on despite the fits. He doesn't care.

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Lalo and his
father Martín

They would run to join the others in the derelict building in the middle of the night with cartons of chocolate, vanilla and strawberry ice-cream. The party went on until everybody was too full to eat any more. After they had broken into the same ice-cream parlour several nights in a row they were raided by plainclothes men. The police beat them up, shaved their heads and stole their money. At the time Lalo's mother was in jail for shoplifting.

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Julio Cesar ("Cagón")
and Chikis

"I think that I've been a good mother even though Julio Cesar left me. He started wandering off when he was four years old, and as time went by I had to go farther and farther to find him. After my second son was born and my husband died in an accident my strength failed me. I finally found him in an institution for street children and begged him to come home. He only wanted to know where his real mother was. He didn't want to see me because I was his adopted mother but I knew that his real mother didn't want anything to do with him. How could I tell him that?"





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Toño and Chikelin

Chikelin was badly beaten by his stepfather and left home. Soon after he arrived on the streets he became friends with Abuelo, who worked in a news stand. All the street children around the bus terminal would borrow cartoons to read and the newsdealers would give them odd jobs. This was a place where the children were liked. The taxi drivers a little closer to the bus terminal were also friends of the children and helped them out with new clothes and things to eat. Chikelin ran all sorts of errands for Abuelo and started to sell newspapers. It didn't take long before he was living with Abuelo and his family. About a year later, Chikelin moved back home to his mother. His stepfather had been sentenced to jail.





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Ismael and Negra

Ismael sings in the subway. Sunday morning riding towards Chapultepec Park he looks the other passengers over andchoses his prey. A nicely dressed man, no wife, no children. "Daddy!", he cries, jumps into the man's lap and starts singing. The other passengers laugh. The man can't resist, and gives him some spare change.





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Mexico City

Anna was living with her two month-old baby and her new boyfriend, Miguel, in a garbage room by the train station. The two metal entrance-doors let no light into the windowless room. In the afternoon the garbage men dump their load of eggshells, leftovers and undefinable corruption on the floor. There is always a sweet smell in the room. One day the hungry baby wouldn't stop crying and Miguel killed him because he was high and couldn't stand the noise.