Blood in the Fields. Ten Years Inside California's Nuestra by Julia Reynolds

By Julia Reynolds

The urban of Salinas, California, is the birthplace of John Steinbeck and the environment for his epic masterpiece East of Eden, however it is usually the house of Nuestra Familia, the most violent gangs within the usa. Born within the prisons of California within the past due Sixties, Nuestra Familia accelerated to manage drug trafficking and extortion operations in the course of the northern 1/2 the nation, and left a path of our bodies in its wake. Award-winning journalist Julia Reynolds tells the gang's tale from the interior out, following younger women and men as they look for a brand new form of kin, quests that sometimes bring about homicide and betrayal. Blood within the Fields additionally files the heritage of Operation Black Widow, the FBI's questionable decade-long attempt to dismantle the Nuestra Familia, besides its compromised informants and the turf wars it created with neighborhood legislation enforcement enterprises. Reynolds makes use of her unparalleled entry to gang individuals, either out and in of criminal, as...

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Additional resources for Blood in the Fields. Ten Years Inside California's Nuestra Familia Gang

Example text

Lil Mando wanted to kick it while he could. But he couldn’t, not with Lobo around. As if the man’s whole purpose in life was to ruin good things, that fat pintero stood there with a cup of beer in hand, spewing tales to a gathering audience. When he glanced up from the crowd, Lobo’s half-mast eyes said he brushed off Lil Mando as an insignificant youngster. The birthmark on Mando’s forehead, usually invisible, bloomed into a dark red. His heart beat as wildly as a trapped bird, but he swallowed and made himself learn, imagining how he’d one day be like those so-called veteranos—but even more, how he would be different.

He was a natural athlete, and he won trophies and pennants in basketball, baseball, and football. He traveled with his coach all the way to Bakersfield, Fresno, and San Jose for boxing matches, though his parents hardly ever saw him win. His mom had become a Jehovah’s Witness who didn’t believe in birthday parties or celebrations. She would attend his matches when she could, but her life was hard—she was essentially a single mom most of the time. When Mando was a toddler, the family’s weekend activity was visiting his dad in Soledad prison.

The ankle chains, however, remain in place. Whenever visitors come, the most eager men only massage their wrists before they pick up phones. The more fastidious ones take the time to wipe the mouthpieces with their sleeves. This day the visiting area happens to hold five leaders of the Nuestra Familia organization. Pelican Bay exists to make sure men such as these cannot communicate with each other though they are housed a few feet apart. When the men shuffle along in chains, correctional officers watch to ensure no words are exchanged, no notes passed, and no phrases delivered in American Sign Language, in which the men are near-fluent.

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