Translated by Jesús Ronquillo / Circuito Frontera
On any given Sunday afternoon, during a church service, Lorenzo, a man with speech problems who is also on a wheelchair, was abandoned at the Chapel of the San Antonio asylum (Asilo San Antonio). Since then, he has been living in the shelter and is about to complete a year as a resident there.
This situation seems to be somewhat “common” as just that week, the San Antonio asylum received another elderly person for the same reasons, as explained by Sister Socorro Solís, in charge of the facility.
This shelter, along with at least four others, are where elderly individuals who were not “claimed” by their family members are sent, according to personnel from the Municipal Police.
According to information from the police force, in 2022, a total of 121 elderly individuals who were lost on the streets of Ciudad Juárez were taken in.
However, at least 68 of them were sent to municipal shelters after their family members couldn’t be located and no one came to pick them up.
This figure represents 56.19 percent of the total number of elderly individuals who went missing in this border city.
Additionally, personnel from the Municipal Police reported that they also provided shelter for 103 girls, boys, and adolescents in this locality, out of which only 21 were transferred to shelters.
It was indicated that in the case of minors, the Office of the Defense of Minors (DIF) is the entity responsible for following up on each individual’s situation.
However, in the case of elderly individuals, it would be the shelters themselves who would take care of them.
They mentioned that some of the shelters where elderly individuals have been transferred include: Prince of Peace, My Hope, Abandoned Elderly, Jasmines, and Senecú.
Circuito Frontera visited the San Antonio nursing home, better known as Senecú, where the person in charge of the place mentioned that they have had several similar cases.
She indicated that at that location, they attended to a man named Lorenzo, who was alone with his wheelchair inside the chapel, as if waiting for someone to pick him up.
On many occasions, the care of the elderly is left to the goodwill of the citizens, civil and religious associations, despite the fact that it is the State’s responsibility to take care of them.
According to Article Six of the Law for the Rights of Older Adults, the State must guarantee optimal conditions of health, education, nutrition, comprehensive development, and social security, including housing, for this population group.
It is worth noting that attempts were made to contact personnel from the Family Integral Development in the State; however, no response was received.”