In 2012, the brilliant Natasha Ali wanted to make a video of ‘Pechito’, a man who lived on the streets, at the corner of Scalabrini Ortiz and Santa Fe in Buenos Aires. She asked if I would help with the translation and interview.
We met with him several times. He was friendly, almost always wore a smile, and liked being in front of the camera.
Fast forward a year after the recording was made. ‘Pechito’ disappeared, and was later found in hospital, with signs that he had been beaten. People said he was picked up by a vehicle working with a programme that received city funding, and found in another part of the city in a serious condition. He died soon afterwards.
This video is a just short glimpse at his life. But there are many other people in Buenos Aires who live life as he did on the streets.
Editor’s note: In 2011, the city government registered 876 people in its census of homeless people; the survey was criticised by social groups for its narrow parameters and unclear methodology. In 2012, NGO Médicos del Mundo estimated that the number of people on the streets was over 16,300, while local NGO Proyecto 7 counts upwards of 18,000.
Lead image by Kaloian Santos Cabrera