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2nd of a series.
Reyes is 65 year old panhandler in Juarez, Mexico. I went to take pics and meet the people that my Mom helps out with food and money when she can. Confined to a wheelchair, Reyes has been limited to begging for money at his place on the Strip for several years. He is a devout Christian and seldom complains. He informed us that last week he was robbed at knife point for ten dollars. The attacker actually stabbed him in the abdomen until he relented. He showed us the scar.
When poor people in wheelchairs are being mugged, you know the situation is bad in Juarez.
--------------------My mom, at 70 years old, goes walking from this side of the bridge in El Paso, Tx, to Juarez, Mex, about 2-3 times a week to run various errands, buying prescriptions for herself and her older buddys and family, buying groceries, etc, often walking more than 3 to four miles a day. She also gives sandwiches, food, and bottled water to some of the homeless along her path. For those of you not in the know, Juarez has been deemed one of the most dangerous cities in the world with easily more than 2000 murders in the past year and a half, a product of a bloody drug war. No, foreigners are not welcome. The local American Army base, Ft. Bliss, prohibits its soldiers and workers from crossing the border. In response to the violence, the Mexican government has sent more than 10,000 soldiers and state police to try to control the situation, often with tactics that are just as bloodthirsty. My moms and my mexican roots offer no safety. Regardless my mom still goes and I still go to accompany her when I can. My mom simply says God is her bodyguard :/
Yes I was scared to some degree. I already look like a big bald foreigner and add to that my new big camera and I receive TOO much attention. My size offers no protection against bullets or street law. But after seeing my work, Mom said I should record her "buddies" for posterity and so others, mostly me, can see what she sees.
Until I write a full story...
In the There, but for the Grace of God, go I photo essay.
Also by R.J. C.
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