Junior is skinny, wears baggy clothes, and stares off into space. He has not seen his mother since December 8, since he decided to leave his house to impregnate himself with the Medellin streets. She is only 12 years old, although sometimes she gets confused and does not know if she is 15.
At times he smiles, but when he talks about his parents that gesture disappears. He has smoked marijuana for five years. and although he knows that his parents are looking for him, he prefers to be with his friends smoking bazucolow-cost drug similar to crack and made from cocaine residue. “My sister is sure to cry and my father too, I have my friends on the coast and I don’t want to continue throwing bazuco and bazuco all my life,” says Junior.
Nearby is Jose. He is 16 years old and, like Junior, smokes marijuana and bazuco. He started very young, only eight years old, and says that he is on the street “because he touches him”. “My dad also likes to smoke marijuana. One day I saw him smoking, I went where he keeps things and I took it, I smoked it and I liked the way he acts,” he recalls with his arms in motion and covering his eyes because of the nervousness produced by the bazuco.
According to him, when his mother discovered that he smoked marijuana, they abandoned him: “After a while I got home and it was empty, well, what? I wasn’t going to go look for them,” he adds. His parents, now separated, each live in different cities in Colombia, while he wanders the streets of Medellín.
José started smoking when he was very young, when he was only eight years old, and he says that he is on the street “because he has to”
Anderson, who completes José and Junior’s trio of friends, has just come of age. He has been sleeping on the streets and smoking marijuana since he was nine years old.bazuco and the drugs offered in the communes of Medellín.
When he was only nine years old, his mother ended up in prison and his two brothers decided to rebuild their lives: the oldest takes care of her son and the other works. He ended up under the claws of the bazuco. “When my mom went to jail, I had no one to support me,” she says.
In Colombia there are 5,043 homeless people, according to DANE, a government agency that is responsible for planning, implementing and evaluating statistics at the national level to solve the country’s social, economic and environmental problems. The bazuco is the main psychoactive substance consumed and the reason that leads them to the street.
Orlando Beltrán, director of El Banquete del Bronx, a foundation that helps homeless people, states that “in Colombia there may be an average of 80,000 homeless people, of which we have between 10,000 and 15,000 childrenaged between 7 and 17 years.
The Banquete del Bronx moves throughout the Andean country due to lack of support and humanitarian aid, and what it tries to do is “make the government understand that its figures are different from those made by DANE,” says Beltrán.
“The poorest migrants arrive in many districts of Medellin, where most of the drugs tend to be.
“It is very important that we look towards the countries of South America and especially Colombia, since it is the largest producer of cocaineIn addition, the drug that cannot leave the country remains in the streets and affects people who are too poor,” he adds.
From the Bronx Banquet they are aware that they are facing a problem that is increasing, also because of the migrants who arrive from countries like Venezuela.
“The poorest migrants arrive in many districts of Medellin, where most of the drugs such as bazuco, coca or tussi tend to be,” says Beltrán.
A special day
Luckily for the three friends, The Bronx Banquet tracked them down one night while they slept lying among cardboard in the streets of Medellin.
Everyone’s eyes changed when they were offered a day like any other child: a hairdresser, eating at a mall and going to the movies. “It’s been a great day, I wanted to see a horror movie, or a bullet movie [de tiros] or action”, affirms José while smiling.
An uncertain future awaits the three of them. The conspirators, as they call themselves, claim that “they are the family you don’t have.” At the moment, Junior has just returned with her mother to a town in the department of Córdoba, where he searches with her among containers to be able to get ahead. Joseph and Anderson they have not had “the same luck”; one is waiting for his DNI to be able to see his mother in jail, while the other continues to wait for one of his two parents to find him, although both of them hope in the near future to escape from the bowels of the bazooka