Four months to the day after he was killed by a passing car, little Iker Pérez López’s body has not been claimed.
On June 13, the 7- or 8-year-old street performer was killed by a car on Avenida Libano in Col. México. Like many other children from Chiapas, he earned his money begging for tips. Iker’s specialty was collecting coins while other children danced or juggled balls for the amusement of drivers — a dangerous feat since he performed at intersections and was barely taller than the front end of most motor vehicles.
His lifeless body has been in the Semefo morgue, with no assurance that he will be given a fitting burial. He is otherwise destined for a mass grave.
Whoever organized the children who performed at that intersection has not been located either. Witnesses say an adult would drop them off and pick them up each day in a car, suggesting an organized operation. A week later, police arrested a man in his 40s who allegedly organized a ring that exploited 15 children — including Iker — by forcing them to beg on the streets while housing them in overcrowded conditions.
As you may remember, on June 13, Iker was juggling on Avenida Libano to earn a few pesos when he was hit by a truck driven by a woman who fled after the accident and abandoned her vehicle on Itzaes Avenue.
The driver was later tracked down with the help of video cameras. She cooperated with police and was released with a court summons, according to local media reports.
Authorities located a birth certificate issued in Palenque, but the local prosecutor’s office has not located any next-of-kin.