In August, 2010, I posted about the contrasts between rich and poor in Buenos Aires, including a photo of a large abandoned bodega warehouse between the parallel streets of Godoy-Cruz and Juan B. Justo, separated by the rail line that brings the poor in from the “villas,” the slums, to work in the neighborhoods of the rich, like Palermo, where the photo below was taken.
Last week these people were rounded up and kicked out, given about $20 each, and told to go back to where they belong — which, wherever it is, isn’t anywhere around here. Most of these people work; I thought of them as trash entrepreneurs. They have homemade two-wheel carts they pull around city streets taking from the trash anything they might be able to sell, thus feed themselves and their children. I walk by here frequently. I’ve seen mothers washing their children and dressing them, probably for school, but I don’t know. Some families had scrounged arm chairs and old bits of busted furniture and created something akin to a living room or bedroom; they tacked cardboard or scraps of wood to holes, making windows and doors and walls.
Some of these now homeless again residents of the Godoy-Cruz bodega at work:
I sympathize with the people who lived in the apartments and houses across the street from the bodega, who first had this eyesore of a ruin that stretches the length of four city blocks, then to have it begin to fill up with “those people” from the villas. There were complaints of crime and noise, although this entire city is virtually the paradigm of crime and noise, so how would this be distinguishable from the general life throughout the city?
Regardless, last week the city kicked these people out and then razed the entire structure. Like this:
Where did the homeless once again people go?
Here, and here, and here … .
But you can be sure they did not go here:
There but for fortune, my friends, go you or I.