A 20-year-old former gang member, El Cholo, shows satanic imagery on his T-shirt.
El Cholo, as we call him here, is 20 years old. He has been a member of different gangs — or maras — and says he's killed 10 people. Following as excerpts from an interview with NPR's John Burnett.
I've been in maras since I was six. I grew up in the streets. My first gang was Bikingo. I grew up with them, they taught me arms, fighting, drugs, communication, contraband. I grew with this mentality. When I had learned it all, I went my own way, surviving alone. I went to the 13 gang, then the MS-18, then with a gang called Braker, then with Black Star, the Saldiver gang, now I'm a Roquero.
We listen to satanic music and do satanic rituals, and we play the Wuija, a game of the devil. It's how one comes to know the devil. To know him you have to give him your soul. You need money, food, you want to be rich. The devil comes and he says, "Okay, I want something of yours and I'll give you everything." You come and give him your soul. "Here's my life, it's all yours, but I want you to give me money, I want you to make me famous." He comes, gives it, and you're better for it.
But there are dangers, such as death. If you die, you lose everything, including your family by means of these satanic games.
My mother is Costa Rican and my father is from the U.S. I was born in the U.S. They had problems with drug trafficking, and they decided to come here to Guatemala. They decided to leave me here in an orphanage because of their problems. I grew up there, then I was adopted by foster parents. But I didn't like life with them, so I chose the life of the streets when I was six.
I started to grow up in the streets, I slept in the streets — the streets became my home. There's a saying that those who grow up on the streets will only be respected on the streets.
When I joined the Bikingo gang, they taught me how to use weapons and be in a gang. Later, I joined Mara 13, the Salvatrucha. I was with them. I learned how to survive there.
There are lots of gangs and how they survive is asesino al sueldo, kill for a paycheck. A person who needs money has to kill another person. They come, kill a person, take his money and that's how they survive. Or they survive violating people, kill them, kidnap them, assault banks, rob people in the street, and sell drugs. That's what gangs to, and I did it too.
I was 10 years old when I entered Mara 18, I learned how they dress and how they live in the streets. But there's a problem between 18 and Mara 13, they can't be together. They're not the same gang. If a 13 arrives at the house of an 18, the first thing is there's a massacre. Thirteen and 18 are rivals.
I've killed 10 people, all adults. I killed six gang members and four victims of crime. I killed the last one four months ago. He was causing problems in my gang. They paid me to eliminate him.
I also sell candy and cookies in the streets, and in buses. Now I've left the gangs. Now I'm a Roquero. Of all the Roqueros in the world, 75 percent worship the devil. The other 25 percent don't. I don't worship the devil. I left all that satanic stuff. I'm on my own, I don't mess with the devil anymore.
To dedicate your soul, you have to make a mark of the three 6s. I have them on my chest. There are women who get involved in satanic rites. They make a star of six points: salt, ash, cemetery dirt, bone dust, black candles and blood. Through magic, when the fire comes the devil is present. They have to do this ritual in the cemetery. Lots of people need money, they need protection, and that's why they do it.
I've done human sacrifice twice. I sacrificed a family of 13 through black magic. We made a voodoo doll, we stuck it with needles, and the person it represents dies easily.
There's a satanic game called Pedro, it's a computer game. How are you dressed? What color is your shirt? Your shirt is black. He responds as if he's in the computer. If I lose, Pedro wins, and he takes my life. Pedro is the devil.
There was this woman who threatened my life. I wouldn't permit it. I said before you get me, I'll get you. I made a voodoo doll with a piece of her pants. I went to the cemetery. She sacrificed herself on her own. She cut her own veins with a machete.
We came, we did our work. She died, we took out her brain, heart, lungs — the most valuable parts. We cut the heart into 14 parts — one piece for each of 14 of us. Our objective was to eat the heart raw. If we didn't eat it, the devil would kill us or harm us, or our families. We had to do it. She was 38 years old. We dumped her body in a river. This was when I was 15, in 2003. I was with the Braker gang then.
Do I feel any guilt for the people I've killed? No, if I committed an error, then sooner or later I'll pay for it. That's why I don't feel guilty to have done it. I feel normal. To survive in this world you have to do everything, including even taking the life of another. You have to do everything in this life in order to survive. That's what I did.
In one sense, they're right (referring to the rise of vigilantism and the targeting of gang members for death). There are many innocents who've died at their (the gangs') hands. The people are tired of the gangs. Many people are tired of me. I'm now an ex-gang member. Two years ago, I left the gangs when I was 18. Today I'm a street vendor. People respect me.
There've been lots of deaths from the gangs. You find bodies in the rivers, mountains, barrancas. Many women have died because they belong to gangs. There are women who get killed during rapes. There are gang members who like to rape women and then kill them. There are women who because of their marital problems end up dead. Also they kill prostitutes. I know lots of prostitutes. Lots of them work by the train tracks, in Zona 6 and Zona 3 and along 18th street there are lots of prostitutes. Some are killed for giving a disease to a man.
Here in Guatemala, lots of gang members have tattoos. You put on 18 or 13, the Sorro, the name of your family, the name of your woman, the name of your son. Some people are famous for their tattoos. Some people have the three points of the vida loca — jail, death, cemetery. For the Roqueros it's sex, drugs and rock-n-roll.
I wanted to get out of the gangs to save my life. You have to fight to stay alive. Now I believe in the world of God. I have my Bible. That's why I left the gangs.
I met a Jehovah's Witness in the street. He told me everything I was doing was an error. Now I believe in the word of God and I decided to change my life. I know that I've caused much grief to families. They'll celebrate Holy Week and Christmas without their loved ones who I killed. The families of the 10 I killed are sad. I did it for amusement, money or drugs.
I know I was wrong. Now I start to tremble when I think that I killed someone. I could go to prison or somebody might want to kill me for revenge. Today, I'm afraid. I could pay with my life for my errors, as we say, pay with the same money.
I know lots of people the sicarios (hired gunmen) have killed — Scrappy, Carlos Bran, El Diablito, Cholo, Scooby Doo, Pantera, Flaco, Guzman, Magoo. I've known 50 people who've been killed by sicarios this year. More in years past. They were all in gangs. They were famous. It's an honor, a medal of gold for all they've done with us. They helped form the gangs. They were our leaders.
The mistake the sicarios make is to think killing the leader will make a difference. Another leader comes up. His right hand man moves up.
Today a lot of gang members do (fear the backlash of community vigilantes.) It's not the same as before. They know well that, sooner or later, they can be eliminated. Gang members who have piercings or tattoos know they should hide them. Or leave this place, because they know the sicarios won't give 'em a second chance. The sicarios are there to clean up the community.
In my case, when I go out the first thing I do is take out my piercings and cover my tattoos, to look like a decent person. For the fear of being eliminated. Thanks to God I've been a street vendor for two years. Now I like to earn an honest living.Source
A 28-year-old man was “in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong attitude” when he broke into two vehicles in October, Ontario Court of Justice heard Tuesday.
Correy Whitton had stayed out of trouble with the law for about four years, “cleaning up his act” from a drug- and alcohol-fuelled youth.
“Over the years he was out of control with alcohol and substance abuse,” defence counsel D.L. Ehlers told Judge Pierre Bradley.
He was gainfully employed and found direction in his life, dedicating his life to the Jehovah’s Witnesses and to his family.
“While he was with the group he had it all together,” Ehlers said.
But when he followed his partner and their three children to North Bay, things went wrong. He was frustrated and angry that he had given up the first full-time job he’d ever held over a custody issue, and then discovered his brother had been hospitalized with a drug overdose.
“I was pretty messed up,” he admitted.
Court was told that on Oct. 2, a Tackaberry Drive resident found Whitton in his father’s vehicle rummaging around in the front seat area.
The man removed Whitton from the vehicle and pinned him to the ground until police arrived. When police searched him, they found bolt cutters and other break-in instruments in his possession.
At the police headquarters, he gave officers a false name.
Whitton was released on bail the following morning.
On Oct. 22, Whitton entered another vehicle and removed the owner’s wallet. He went to a convenience store and purchased $45 worth of lottery tickets with a credit card he took from the wallet.
Two days later, Whitton and another man entered a bar after closing time through an unlocked rear door, taking and breaking items with a total value of $5,006.
He was arrested the following day based on video surveillance.
Read more: http://www.nugget.ca/2018/01/03/north-bay-man-sentenced-for-breaking-into-vehicles-damaging-barvi
La tormenta tropical Selma golpeó las costas salvadoreñas el 28 de octubre con ráfagas de viento de 70 kilómetros por hora y provocó que el 1 de noviembre flotarán quelonios muertos en el mar.
La muerte de alrededor de 400 tortugas marinas en la costa Pacífico de El Salvador se debió a la proliferación de saxitoxinas producto de la tormenta tropical Selma, que ingresó a este país el 28 de octubre, informó Ministerio de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (MARN).
"La mortandad de tortugas fue consecuencia de dos fenómenos combinados: Tormenta tropical Selma y saxitoxinas, según los estudios preliminares", precisó en su cuenta en Twitter el MARN.
Leer más: http://www.milenio.com/internacional/mueren_tortugas-tormenta_selma-viral-el_salvador-milenio-noticias_0_1064293814.html
Here's a timeline of the violence as it unfolded at a Charlottesville, Virginia white supremacist rally that resulted in three deaths.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA—Violence erupted as white nationalists took to the streets of Charlottesville to protest the removal of removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee Saturday, but the deadly encounter began brewing the night before. Three people were killed in events related to the "Unite the Right" rally, including a counter-protester and two Virginia State Police troopers.
On Friday night, white nationalists marched with torches, and police kept the group and counter-protesters at bay. But chaos followed the next day as the two groups clashed in Emancipation Park to the point where officials declared an unlawful assembly and state of emergency.
A woman was killed and dozens others were injured when a car plowed into a group of people believe to be counter-protesters. Police have arrested and charged 20-year-old Alex Fields Jr., of Maumee, Ohio, in relation to the fatal crash.
A few hours later, a state police helicopter that had helped monitor Saturday's events crashed in a wooded area, killing both troopers who were aboard the chopper. They were identified as Lieutenant H. Jay Cullen, 48, of Midlothian, Va., and Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates of Quinton, Va. Both troopers died at the scene.
Read more: https://patch.com/virginia/kingstowne/violence-fury-flames-charlottesville-timeline
El Salvador and Nicaragua earthquake: Tsunami warning after 7.0 magnitude quake strikes in Pacific OceanBy Nicole
Earthquake hits, triggering tsunami warnings, after Nicaragua Caribbean coastline battered by hurricane
A 7.0 magnitude earthquake has shaken El Salvador and Nicaragua, just an hour after a powerful hurricane hit Nicaragua's eastern coast.
The double whammy was a grim test for a largely poor region which lacks resources and emergency plans for natural disasters.
Salvadoran authorities issued a tsunami alert as a precaution after the tremor, which struck around 75 miles off the coast of El Salvador, at a depth of 20 miles beneath the Pacific Ocean, according to the US Geological Survey. The quake was first measured at a magnitude of 7.2 but was then downgraded.
"Hazardous" waves measuring about up to 1m (three feet) are possible to hit coastal areas within 300km of the quake's epicentre.
Shaking was also felt in the Nicaraguan capital of Managua, and as far as the Costa Rican capital San Jose.
Nicaragua's president, Daniel Ortega, declared a state of emergency immediately after the quake. The country was already on alert for an hurricane which struck earlier the same day, as was Costa Rica.
There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties, according to the country's civil defense agency.
Just one hour before the earthquake, a powerful hurricane, Otto, packing winds of 110mph, made landfall on Nicaragua's Caribbean coast.
Thousands of people had already been evacuated from coastal areas into shelters - a total of 7,000 people are expected to evacuate in Nicaragua alone. Government officials said some people had refused to evacuate but did not say how many. Earlier this week, four people died in Panama due to outer bands of the storm.
The heavy rains it was offloading were likely to cause dangerous flooding and mud slides, according to the US National Hurricane Center, as much as 20 inches of rain are expected in isolated areas across northern Costa Rica and southern Nicaragua. Schools were shut down and emergency teams were mobilised.
Otto was the southernmost hurricane to ever make landfall in Central America, the NHC said, and residents were not prepared.
The storm came ashore on Thursday near the Costa Rican border on the town of San Juan de Nicaragua, also known as Greytown. Residents said they were scared, and saw heavy rains and winds rip off roofs and bring down cable lines. In the town of Bluefields, panic buying meant bottled water and lamps were swept off the shelves, and some residents fled in boats while others hammered themselves into their homes with metal sheeting, praying the storm would move on.
Otto will weaken as it moves inland and will likely become a tropical storm by Thursday evening, the center added. It is currently travelling west at around 9mph, chewing its way along both sides of Costa Rica's and Nicaragua's coastlines.
How This Poster in a Women's Restroom at a Bar Cleverly Combats Sexual Assault 'Ask for Angela,' the PSA urgesBy Nicole
A county council in England has come up with a clever and discreet way of combatting sexual violence and abuse.
A photo posted to Twitter (and retweeted almost 30,000 times) shows a poster in the women's bathroom at a bar in Lincolnshire that advises anyone who is feeling unsafe on a date to ask the bar staff for "Angela"—a code word alerting the staff that someone is in need of help.
The copy reads: "Are you on a date that isn't working out? Is your Tinder or POF [Plenty of Fish] date not who they said they were on their profile? Do you feel like you're not in a safe situation? Does it all feel a bit weird? If you go to the bar and ask for 'Angela,' the bar staff will know you need help getting out of your situation and will call you a taxi or help you out discreetly—without too much fuss."
The idea of being helped discreetly is the most compelling part about the campaign. Fear of causing a scene or being wrong can be paralyzing for people in an unnerving situation.
Hayley Child, substance misuse and sexual violence and abuse strategy coordinator for Lincolnshire County Council, tells the Independent: "The 'Ask for Angela' posters are part of our wider #NoMore campaign which aims to promote a culture change in relation to sexual violence and abuse, promote services in Lincolnshire and empower victims to make a decision on whether to report incidents."
She adds: "Sexual abuse and violence is an national issue, and all councils have a responsibility to tackle abuse. This was Lincolnshire Community Safety Partnership's first awareness raising campaign on this issue."
The only problem we see is that the #NoMore hashtag is a bit lost among many #NoMore hashtags on social media. But overall, it's a great effort toward fixing a major problem.
Police are appealing for information following an aggravated burglary in Southampton.
Between 12.30pm and 1.05pm on Sunday, August 7, two men knocked on the door of an address on Caerleon Drive, Bitterne. A woman opened the door to them and they told her they were Jehovah's Witnesses.
One of the men then put a cloth over the woman’s mouth at the front door, forcing her to pass out. They then entered the house and stole a quantity of high value gold jewellery.
When the woman came round, the men had gone. The woman received medical attention but did not suffer any ongoing symptoms.
I am appealing for anyone with information about this incident to come forward. Do you live in the area, did anyone knock at your door claiming to be Jehovah's Witnesses? Did you see two smartly dressed men wandering around the area who could be connected to this incident?
As always, we would urge residents to be vigilant when opening their door to strangers. If you're unsure of who is at your door, use a door chain and do not open the door fully until you are satisfied they are a genuine caller.
I would urge anyone with information to get in touch with us as soon as possible.
– DETECTIVE CONSTABLE MARTIN BREWER
Last updated Mon 8 Aug 2016
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