Saturday, February 17, 2007


The story of gang-banger Simio, told in the book True Tales from Another Mexico, is instructive to those who wonder about the Mexican gangsters on American streets and how they came to get here. He made the common immigrant pilgrimage from Michoacan to the United States, but Simio did not come here to work, but to rob. Upon arriving in a nondescript Los Angeles suburb, his reaction was, "I saw there were all kinds of chances to steal." He also discovered crack while in the US, which was a good fit with his chosen profession of thief. His normal routine was to rob two houses during the day and one at night which fed his thousand-dollar-a-day drug habit. He returned to Mexico after three months in juvenile detention with exhortations for the homeboys to get more serious about their gangstering. "I woke those boys up," Simio reported. "They were all asleep. They didn't have the urge to rob. They weren't stealing anything." In time, some of those young men would make the journey to America, already trained in thievery, drug use and gang behavior.

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