The film is about a group of destitute children and their misfortunes in a Mexico City slum. El Jaibo escapes juvenile jail and reunites with the street gang that he leads. El Jaibo's gang attempts to rob a blind street musician. They fail at first, but later track him down, beat him, and destroy his instruments.
With the help of Pedro, El Jaibo tracks down Julián, the youngster who supposedly sent him to jail. El Jaibo puts his arm in a fake sling and hides a rock in it. El Jaibo confronts Julián, who denies that he reported him to the police. Julián refuses to fight El Jaibo because it wouldn't be a fair fight with El Jaibo's arm broken. As Julián starts to walk away, El Jaibo hits him in the head with the rock. He then beats Julián to death and takes his money. El Jaibo warns Pedro not to report the crime, and since he shares Julián's money with Pedro, Pedro is an accomplice to the murder.
Pedro's mother resents her son's behavior, and shows signs that she doesn't even love him or care for him as a son. Pedro is extremely saddened by this and vows to start behaving better. He finds work as apprentice to a blacksmith. One day, El Jaibo comes to talk with him about their secret and, unbeknownst to Pedro, steals an expensive knife from the blacksmith's table. Pedro is accused of the crime and sent to a juvenile rehabilitation program, the "farm school," where he misbehaves at first, but is won over by the kindness of the principal. In a turn of events that seems to owe a great deal to Oliver Twist, when Pedro is sent on an errand by the principal with a 50 pesos bill, he encounters El Jaibo, who steals it. Pedro then tracks down El Jaibo and fights him. The fight ends in a stalemate, but Pedro announces to the crowd that it was El Jaibo who killed Julián. El Jaibo flees, but the blind man has heard the accusation and tells the police.
Pedro tracks El Jaibo down once again, and El Jaibo kills Pedro. While fleeing, El Jaibo runs into the police. As El Jaibo tries to run away, the police shoot and kill him. Meche and her grandfather find Pedro's body. Not wanting to attract the police, they dump his body down a garbage-covered cliff. On their way, they pass Pedro's mother, who, though once unconcerned with her disobedient child, is now searching for him.
Read more about this topic: Los Olvidados
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