Home NewsCrime Iker, the Boy Who Is Moving an Entire City

Iker, the Boy Who Is Moving an Entire City

by Sofia Navarro
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A seven-year-old boy from Chiapas had to die on the streets of Mérida for society to mobilize, raise their voice, and for the government to take action accordingly. His name was Iker, and he lost his life when he was run over at the intersection of Líbano and 1H in the México Norte neighborhood, where he was forced to beg for alms.

His death occurred on Tuesday, June 13, at around 7:00 p.m. Someone took him there along with four other minors aged 15, 12, 10, and 8, who worked on the streets for more than six hours a day without the company of an adult, exposing themselves among the cars.

Iker, who was part of the 11.9 percent of children and adolescents engaged in child labor in Yucatán, was run over by a van whose driver fled the scene, returned later, and then went to a hospital to deal with the nervous breakdown she experienced upon realizing what she had done.

Aurora Pérez Layón, a merchant and member of the Women of Smoke association, witnessed the incident. She recounted that the children had been working at that intersection located in the northern part of the city for weeks, enduring full days under the sun or rain, while risking their lives.

They were invisible children, completely unnoticed by the state and municipal governments and the police, despite the fact that Article 162 of the Traffic Regulations prohibits performing juggling acts and other tricks that put those who perform them at risk, as well as begging for economic assistance without the permission of the competent authority.

The merchant recalled that after the accident that took Iker’s life, the other four minors panicked and tried to flee, leaving their companion behind.

“My son caught up with the oldest one, a 15-year-old boy, and told him to stay. He wanted to go and buy a phone credit to make a call, but we gave him a phone so he could speak to someone, who claimed to be his sister and said she was 27 years old. They spoke in Tzotzil, but obviously, they never showed up,” she recounted.

The woman, whose establishment is just a few meters from the accident site, said that the children didn’t want to give their real names or ages. “They simply didn’t want to cooperate with the police; they were terrified.”

In addition, they carried two backpacks with low-denomination bills and coins, totaling more than 600 pesos.

“Today marks a week since this tragic moment. People who know me know that I have experienced tragedies in my family, but none affected me as much as this one, because I had to see a child lying in the street, seeing that he was alone. I had to see my children run to comfort their cousins and their little sister, who were fleeing in tears, terrified,” she said.

TYT Newsroom

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