As we near the close of this month’s issue, it’s worth remembering that every drug statistic is an aggregate of individual lives. In the following poem, Dinora Escobar shares the story of a young woman living with drug addiction far from home.
Written by Dinora Escobar
Tijuana, a famous city on
the border of Mexico and California, USA.
An area known as Zona Norte, by the Tijuana Arch.
The Arch is well known. At the entrance of Tijuana, right in the heart of Zona Norte.
It’s like a “ little Vegas”, as many tourist say, but much more poor and dangerous a place; full of drugs,
prostitution, crime, poverty. A place where everything has a price, even your freedom.
Law enforcement is corrupted, a place where many come to fulfill their fantasies, and go home like nothing
ever happened. But what about those that this is their reality. A fast lane life, a place that, to many is a fun,
tourist place and to others this is home. A place to survive.
A place to easily get caught up and lost, where many end up like Ieesha Shiann.
Ieesha Shiann, is a female aged 24, born in mid east of the United States.
She resides in the “zona norte”
located at 1st and coahuila.
Ieesha, living life day by day.
To support her drug habit and to get by she is also a worker of the streets, prostitution. She uses heroin and crystal methamphetamine, also known as “criko”or ice” on the streets.
Ieesha has a story that no one knows. A lot of people wonder, but don’t understand her due to the language barrier, and that she’s mostly in her own world of hallucinations. It is hard to get a full story or even a full sentence without distractions.
I asked Ieesha if I could interview her. She seemed a little scared, uncomfortable with the idea of it, but then she agrees.
Ieesha where were you born?
In Minnesota with the snow and where I lost my babies.
You have kids?
Yes two and I lost them.
How did you lose your kids?
The system took them from me and put them with another family and I don’t know where they are.
Why and how did you start doing drugs?
I lost my kids, don’t know where they are.
How did you end up here?
If you’re not from here?
He left me here.
A men we got high. I was so high on drugs I can’t remember, but we were here together getting high. High, for a couple of weeks and one day he left, I couldn’t find him I didn’t know what to do.
How long you been here?
I think three years
Where’s your family?
Don’t know I need to contact them, someone to let them know where I’m at.
What do you consume and how do you get by as far as financially?
“You want sex?” That’s all I say to get “globo”.
Globo means balloon in English. A word that is used for the little plastic containing the drug.
Where do you sleep? Shower?
If I have money motels sometime, or a client will pay for a room all night and if not I sleep like the” dogs and cats”.
What does that mean?
Wherever I can lay down on the streets. If is cold or rains I can use boxes to shield myself from the cold.
Ieesha has asked me in the past if their are any Rehabilitation Centers here in Tijuana.
Yes there are but as private organizations. So there’s a fee.
At times I just wonder about Ieesha. She comes in says “hi”, she stares around. and she cries. Cries and she only speaks of what I believe is a constant memory to her, in her head. What she can still remember and acknowledge; her kids that she lost and a man that left her here.
Why don’t you cross the border if you’re a USA Citizen?
I never go to border or cross. Nope never cross.
Why? You can get help out there.
Is too late. Where do I go?
Like many others Ieesha randomly sleeps in the streets and hopes for shelter.
She goes around to the local stores at times to ask for food, including my work place.
Many people that know her will hand out clothes to her. They say she wasn’t like this at first.
She was a normal, healthy, young girl,
but drugs have made her lose herself to the streets.