Rene "Boxer" Enriquez grew up on the violent streets of East L.A., where gang fights, robberies, and drive-by shootings were fueled by rage, drugs, and alcohol. When he finally landed in prison - at the age of 19 - Enriquez found an organization that brought him the respect he always wanted: the near-mythic and widely feared Mexican Mafia, La Eme. What the organization saw in Enriquez was a young man who knew no fear and would kill anyone - justifiably or not - in the blink of an eye. That loyalty and his iron will drove him up the ranks as a mob enforcer and ultimately to the upper echelons, where he would help rule for nearly two decades.
Enriquez helped La Eme become the powerful and violent organization that it is now, with a base army of approximately 60,000 heavily armed gang members who control the prison system and a large part of California crime.
Arguably the most dangerous gang in American history, its reach is growing. And now award-winning investigative journalist Chris Blatchford, with the unprecedented cooperation of Rene Enriquez, reveals the inner workings, secret meetings, and elaborate murder plots that make up the daily routine of the Mafia brothers. It is an intense, never-before-told story of a man who devoted his life to a bloody cause only to find betrayal and disillusionment. After years of research and investigation, Blatchford has delivered a historic narrative of a nefarious organization that will go down as a classic in mob literature.
©2008 Chris Blatchford; (P)2008 Tantor
The narration had some issues in the first hour or so. After that the performance was excellent, in my opinion.
Rene "Boxer" Enriquez chose a certain path it seemed because he wanted to be with the best, the most respected. These guys operating within the Mexican Mafia had to be in total control of themselves at all times except when they were drugged up, and they were almost all users of narcotics.
The level of control that Rene and his peers demanded of themselves felt surreal to me. Their rules were strict, especially with regard to not being a coward and not hesitating. Imagine a lifestyle where you'd be required to kill somebody seemingly at the drop of a hat. So I can see how they were regarded by many as warriors and not just criminal offenders.
The issues all the 'made' guys run up against are fundamentally the same as those for everybody, only with consequences that end up being violent and deadly for some unlucky member. It's all about what they call "politicking." That's the word they use: politicking. I have a new appreciation for that word now.
The significant events were mostly prison stabbings. Once a prisoner gets stabbed, if he survives that event he will be marked as one who is likely to get killed at any moment. He can't recover.
Basically, the guys are always reorganizing themselves based on individual power within the group. There's a lot to learn by listening to this book. Rene and his buddies aren't amateurs. Most aren't book smart but some are. They're all savvy when it comes to the pecking order and how every little thing brings the potential of change to the pecking order.
I felt empathy for Rene as did the author. Maybe I was conned by a mean guy with charisma. Either way, I enjoyed the book.
Something about the way this book flowed just didnt make sense. Although some of the stories are interesting, they just do not blend together way and feel extremely disjointed, and hard to follow.
really enjoyed the book was impressed again with the thoroughness and in-depth look of, not only one man's lifetime of gangs and gang Association life, but of the gangs and Power in which they wield
As a Los Angeles native, I grew up with Chris Blatchford's FOX 11 Undercover series. He was the best and I really wish he had read his own book. It would have been perfect. Anyone unfamiliar with Chris, should look up the Fox 11 Undercover segments on Youtube. From gangsters to raves, he really had the pulse of the Southern California underground.
I would've preferred a Spanish speaker. The way he annunciated the Spanish words usually deterred from the meaning of them. A few I couldn't even understand due to bad annunciation. Otherwise great book.
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