Gangster Reveals Mexican Mafia Secrets
The life of a high-level mobster is a staple of books and Hollywood films. But most real-life gang leaders don't tell their stories. The code of silence runs deep; breaking that code can be fatal. That's especially true if the mobster is behind bars.
But one former leader of the Mexican mafia — a violent group formed in California's prisons — did just that.
Rene Enriquez, nicknamed Boxer, who once killed for the gang and also ordered the deaths of men and women in prison and on the streets of Los Angeles, ended up opening his life to the police and sharing many of the organization's secrets.
When he decided to defect in 2002, Enriquez became the highest-level Mexican mafia leader to work with the cops.
Black Hand Of Death
In the unlikely event you encountered Enriquez on the street, you'd meet a polite man with a tinge of cockiness — perhaps that of a high-powered business executive or professional athlete.
But if you met up with Enriquez, say, on the beach, with his shirt off, you'd have a very different impression. Carved on his body are menacing tattoos that that tell a life story of mayhem and murder.
His most prominent tattoo is a black hand on his chest, a symbol of the Mexican mafia. "We call it the black hand of death," he says.
Enriquez says he looks like a typical gang member, though he adds he does not believe he is a typical gang member.
"I believe I'm a cut above the rest. As a mafioso, you have to be an elitist. You have an elitist, arrogant mentality," he says. "That's how you carry yourself in the Mexican mafia. That's how you project yourself."
Enriquez has been involved in organized crime for 20 years and was a Mexican mafia member for over 17 years.
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