Nine days ago a 22-year old named Aaron died while I was with him on the street. Last night the authorities released the body of Aaron under my name in what will set precedent for religious workers and friends of street kids and migrants passing through Mexico who die without family members.
The laws of Mexico do not permit a non-family member to claim the body of a diseased person to give them a proper burial. As a result people like Aaron eventually end up in a common grave. Last week we went from office to office seeking permission to claim Aaron’s body to give him a service.
This week a reporter from a major newspaper in Mexico City got involved. She reported on the human rights abuses that took place when the ambulance came while Aaron was still alive and refused to take him to a hospital. After the story was published on Thursday morning the Attorney General for Mexico City determined that the laws were being followed in not releasing Aaron’s body to non-family members for burial. However the laws do not apply because Aaron’s human rights were being violated. Aaron has the human right not to remain in a morgue for months unclaimed when there are people who want to give him a proper burial.
Even with a ruling from the Attorney General, the police were unwilling to act. We filled out paperwork and reports with no success. Yesterday the office of Human Rights, and Social Services got involved. Last night all the documents and papers were signed and given to me.
Tonight we are having a funeral service for Aaron.
But the work will continue in what we are calling “Project Aaron”. Our friend will write a story for publication that will help public precedent for giving human rights to the diseased in cases where no family members are present. And my growing circle of friends will continue to fight for the rights of street kids and the homeless to be treated as human beings.