Homies and Hermanos: God and Gangs in Central America
Why might a gun-wielding, tattoo-bearing "homie" exchange in la vida loca for a Bible and the buttoned-down way of life of an evangelical hermano (brother in Christ)? to respond to this question, Robert Brenneman interviewed sixty-three former gang individuals from the "Northern Triangle" of critical America--Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras--most of whom left their gang for evangelicalism. in contrast to within the usa, club in a important American gang is hasta los angeles morgue. however the most typical exception to the "morgue rule" is that of conversion or standard participation in an evangelical church. Do gang individuals who weary in their risky way of life easily make a rational option to choose evangelical faith? Brenneman reveals this is often simply in part the case, for plenty of others file emotional conversions that got here suddenly, after they chanced on themselves beaten by way of a sermon, a talk, or a prayer carrier. An largely researched and gritty account, Homies and Hermanos sheds mild at the nature of adlescent violence, of non secular conversion, and of evangelical church buildings in valuable America.
“cliques”).” I requested Enrique if Ninosa used to be nonetheless alive this day. “He used to be killed via the Sombra Negra (Black Shadow). That’s what they referred to as themselves, yet From Pandilla to Mara after all it used to be the govt. The loss of life squad was once breaking the entire leaders.” certainly, the Sombra Negra, a secretive dying squad allegedly composed of police and army officials, claimed to be considering “cleaning up” society via getting rid of gang participants and different “undesirables.” In a observe despatched to the clicking, the.
football with a plastic ball [in the yard]. occasionally the ball might holiday a leaf off my grandfather’s corn stalks and my grandfather may get so mad that he may take a belt, seize us through the arm and beat and beat and beat us over the again till he’d left our backs laced with marks that wouldn’t cross Turning disgrace into Violence away for days. For it slow he hottest utilizing a [leather] machete case. . . . My grandmother, his spouse, might get within the strategy to try and safeguard us simply because we have been simply.
approximately this methodological choice). moreover, as a few gang specialists within the usa have mentioned, stories of devoted gang participants are usually aimed toward impressing a listener or bettering a damaging photograph of a specific gang in society. energetic gang adolescence devoted to the barrio were recognized to “feed outsiders and themselves a suite of standardized solutions” to inquiries approximately gang lifestyles and gang values (Spergel 1992). rather than evaluating the bills of deserters to these of present.
however, leaving the group is certainly not a definite get away course from risk. certainly, as Antonio’s case and others illustrate, ex-gang participants are frequently killed after leaving. nonetheless, many gang individuals come to determine their profile within the gang because the maximum risk to their very own fast defense. Meme, a former member of the MS-13 in Honduras, recalled making the choice to go away the crowd whereas nonetheless in legal: I spent six years in criminal. At one element there have been 300 40 folks gang.
saw to ensure his conversion was once now not easily a ruse to flee the morgue rule. considering the fact that approximately all evangelical church buildings, specifically the small evangelicalPentecostal congregations of the critical American barrios the place gangs are universal, perform teetotalism, limit sexuality, and require common attendance at worship, ex-gang member converts own a comparatively simple—if no longer rather effortless, given its strict behavioral criteria— technique of “proving” the genuineness in their conversion.