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  1. #1
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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    L.A. gang member testifies about aftermath of baby's killing

    L.A. gang member testifies about aftermath of baby's killing

    Giovanni Macedo was a target of police and his own gang after killing a baby in a hit gone wrong in Westlake in 2007. As part of a plea deal, he's testifying in a federal racketeering case.


    By Victoria Kim, Los Angeles Times April 20, 2012

    When he came to, Giovanni Macedo was fast tumbling down the side of an embankment somewhere along a road between Tijuana and Mexicali.

    It was a few seconds before he remembered what had happened. Fleeing to Mexico after a botched shooting. Downing a bottle of vodka and teetering up and down Avenida Revolucion in Tijuana. Reaching a second too late to deflect a rope as it was slung over his neck.

    A week earlier, the 18-year-old had been "putting in work" in the name of the 18th Street gang in 2007 when he fired shots in the middle of a bustling Westlake street, accidentally killing a 3-week-old infant. The baby's death made him a hot target, not only for law enforcement, but also for the Mexican Mafia and all the gangs under its reach, including his own.

    But if the gang members thought they'd done away with their problem by throwing Macedo off the side of a road, it was too soon. Macedo grabbed onto a handful of dry roots, and climbed back onto the road. He made his way back to the United States, and after a few weeks of hiding out in Utah, contacted the police.

    On Thursday, the sharp-jawed young man took the stand to testify against fellow gang members in a federal racketeering trial. Among the defendants on trial is one of his alleged kidnappers, Javier Perez, who, Macedo testified, yelled "Die" as he pulled hard on the rope around Macedo's neck.

    His dramatic turn on the stand capped five weeks of testimony about the gang's Columbia Lil Cycos clique, which was targeted in a wide-reaching crackdown following the child's death.

    His testimony came the day after Francisco Clemente, the vendor Macedo was targeting when he killed the baby, tearfully recounted the day's events. Fingering the bullet still lodged next to his own jaw, Clemente said he loved the baby, the son of a woman who was roommates with his girlfriend, like he was his own.

    As part of his plea agreement with state prosecutors, Macedo, now 22, is serving 51 years and four months in prison for the baby's killing. He agreed to cooperate with federal authorities as part of the plea deal.

    Macedo said he was jumped into the 18th Street gang around 2005 with a beating that lasted 18 seconds. His loyalty to the gang, he said on the stand, was even greater than his love for his mother, who tried to get him out of the life by moving to Lancaster.

    About two years in, he began helping collect "rent" from the illegal vendors that crowd the streets near MacArthur Park in the evenings, selling everything from clothes to electronics. Around the same time, Clemente, who sold radios, cameras and speakers, balked at the increasing demands and refused to pay.

    When the topic of shooting Clemente came up on a Saturday morning in September 2007, Macedo volunteered to do it, he testified. He had previously been accused of not putting in enough work.

    "I'll get my respect," he testified. "That's basically it, respect."

    He dressed in a black shirt and khakis, and asked a fellow gang member how he looked. He then piled into a truck with other gang members and headed to the clique's territory.

    At a corner doughnut shop, Macedo was handed a cocked .22-caliber pistol. One gang member accompanied Macedo down the street and pointed out the vendor to him as they walked past and into a video store. Macedo stepped out, then from about four feet away, shot four times into the vendor's head.

    "Did you know there was a risk you'd hit other individuals?" Assistant U.S. Atty. Nili Moghaddam asked.

    "Yes," he responded matter-of-factly.

    The next day was when he found out something had gone wrong. The clique's shot-caller paid him a visit, saying a baby had gotten shot and that there could be "consequences" — a "green light" for his death because the killing of a child goes against the Mexican Mafia's internal rules.

    A few days later, Macedo was abruptly told he needed to hide out in Mexico. He and three other 18th Street members drove to Tijuana and spent a couple days drinking and sight-seeing on the Avenida. Someone dared him to finish a bottle of vodka, which he did. A few hours later, in the middle of the night, the others told him they were driving to Mexicali, where he was to hide out.

    At a gas station, he was told to get in the front passenger seat. Still recovering from the vodka, he fell asleep for about a minute when he saw, out of the corner of his eye, the rope descending on his neck.

    By the time he climbed back onto the road, the sun was up. A truck driver stopped and asked if he had been in a car crash. The driver gave him a bucket of water to clean up the blood and vomit and a collared shirt to cover the bright red bruising on his neck. He dropped Macedo off in Mexicali, where he called his family.

    In cross-examination, an attorney for Perez, accused of kidnapping and attempting to kill Macedo, questioned the inconsistencies among Macedo's initial police interviews, his testimony at the state trial, and his account Thursday.

    Macedo initially told police that he wasn't the shooter but the one tasked with taking the gun from the shooter, attorney Lawrence Litman noted. He later admitted in the same interview that he was the one who fired the shots. Litman pointed out that Macedo has changed his story about who was in the car on the way to the shooting, and when it was that he realized the vendor was going to be killed rather than beaten.

    The attorney questioned Macedo's identification of Perez, whom he had testified he first met the night they drove to Mexico.

    "You don't forget the face of the person who tried to kill you," Macedo said.
    Gang member testifies about violence after baby's killing - latimes.com
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  2. #2
    Senior Member HAPPY2BME's Avatar
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    Tattoos & the Drug War

    Tattoo'd criminals leave an embedded image in many minds when thinking about drug gangs and the drug war. Thugs with tattoo'd faces and arms are often paraded in front of the press for photos that make headlines across the globe, while their non-tattoo'd associates are often left standing to the side of them.

    Gangs use tattoos for more reasons than just intimidation and bragging. Tattoos are used to identify gang members to members of a common gang in unfamiliar places. They can save ones life who enters prison and needs to join up with unfamiliar members of the same gang. Kidnappers may have unknowingly kidnapped a gang member and then immediately release that person after the tattoos identified them as a feared gang member. Proud gangs members usually see more benefits of touting their gang in ink than hiding it in most cases. While it may mean more scrutiny by police, it can mean respect among the masses.

    A heavily tattood gang member usually has a step by step process in covering ones body. The first is typically the gang patch. This identifies that person as a member of the gang. It would consist of the gang name or number that represents that set. The next tattoos are usually personal tattoos. These will represent that persons family and neighborhood. The next wave of tattoos typically show the changing rank of the member and the tasks they have completed. Lost love ones are respected and family members are cherished in ink.

    Tattoos are not common practice among all drug gangs and cartels. They in fact are only being used commonly by Mexican Cartels in the last few years. On the other hand street gangs across the globe have used tattoos that for some time. These often originate from local native, tribal, and religious customs. Identifying and crime glorifying tattoos have grown in popularity in the last 20 years.

    With the prevalence of tattoo'd gangs like Mara Salvatrucha 13 and the bonds between street gangs and drug cartels, tattoos have made their way into drug war headlines. Tattoos are becoming an interest and even an obsession to journalists and police forces. I have read many articles which claim a suspect is a devil worshiper simply because he adorns a Sante Muerte tattoo. People are often searched and detained unlawfully because of tattoos.

    Regardless if you are a fan of tattoos or not, they stimulate the eye to see the dark ink across a persons body. In many Western countries over 25% of certain age groups have tattoos. The majority of these are not criminals. Most are law abiding citizens who pay taxes. Regardless of intent or ideals of those with ink, it is clear that many gangsters and inmates are covered in tattoos. You can often tell a life story of an individual if you can decode the meanings of numerous tattoos.

    I myself have been getting tattood for over a decade and currently have over 20 tattoos. I have spent countless hours in tattoo parlors. Various cultures and religions have different takes on being inked, but those that have a significant amount of it wear it with pride. The meanings are in the ink and can sometimes only be decoded by those that wear them. The fact you wear ink does not make you a criminal. It is the person under the ink and the story that is told that makes the man.
    Tattoo Meanings
    Number tattoos= usually correspond with that letter in the alphabet (13=M). Can also identify a street or area code.

    13= Typically stands for M. Used by Mara Salvatrucha, the Mexican Mafia, and all Hispanic Sureno gangs.
    (To read more on Mara Salvatrucha/MS-13 read my previous post Hell on Earth: MS-13 & the Drug War )

    18= Typically represents the 18th street gangs and maras in California and Central America.

    14= Used by Norteno gangs in Northern California to represent the letter N.

    Grim reaper= Is a crude image representing Santa Muerte. (to read more on Sante Muerte read my previous post Hell on Earth: Who the Hell is Santa Muerte? )
    Tear Drops= Represents different aspects of death. Can mean one murdered a person, but usually mean that person lost someone close to them.

    Three dots in a triangle= a basic and often homemade tattoo that represents living a gang life (mi vida loca, my crazy life) Can also represent the Catholic trinity. Is usually on the web of the hand or below the eye.

    Cross between the eyes= Typically represents someone who was murdered multiple people.

    Rosaries, Saints, and Crosses= Used by many religious people for protection.

    Joker and Clown symbols= Often used by Hispanic street gangs members to represent a lack of fear.

    Stars on Shoulders= Represent a man of status or respect.

    Devils and Horns- used by MS-13 to represent their gang.


    Mara Salvatrucha Members

    Mara Salvatrucha members bore tattoos on their faces in the beginning to strike fear into enemies. Many members mastered the art of tattooing during prison terms. They went on to cover much of their bodies to pay respect to the gang. In recent years the gang has asked members to be less obvious with tattoos to avoid heat from police forces.

    Mara 18 Member
    Mara 18 and the 18th street gang formed from a similar culture as Mara Salvatrucha. They have been known to cover there faces and bodies with ink representing the gang.

    Los Zetas Member
    Victim with Santa Muerte Tattoos

    Santa Muerte tattoos rose to infamy in the last decade in Mexico and now across the Americas. Most wear it for protection from death. Followers believe respecting the Saint of Death will help you live another day.

    Los Zetas Member

    Zetas members commonly have tattoos in connect with their military background and their connection with the US/Mexico border culture.

    Gulf Cartel Leader

    Gulf Cartel members are often tattood because of their border culture and shared United States gang culture.

    The Barrio Azteca gangs operates on both sides of the border in the Juarez area. They are infamous with their tattoos which mix US gang culture and Aztec art.


    ---

    K. Mennem



    -
    I am now writing news updates on the Tijuana/Baja area for the San Diego Reader. You can read those articles at
    K. Mennem | Staff | San Diego Reader

    Hell on Earth: Tattoos & the Drug War
    Join our FIGHT AGAINST illegal immigration & to secure US borders by joining our E-mail Alerts at http://eepurl.com/cktGTn

  3. #3
    Senior Member Kiara's Avatar
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    Those are some scary looking dudes! It's a shame that there are so many of these sick individuals running around loose in our communities.

  4. #4
    Administrator ALIPAC's Avatar
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    There are tens of thousands of these paramilitaries coiled up around Americans in almost every county in the country. They are heavily armed with training in military tactics supported by supply lines that range through this hemisphere and back to China and India.

    For now, they do not strike us en mass or cause more mayhem on Americans streets because the flow of wealth continues unabated out of America.

    Right now they are busy stealing and fencing strategic metals and getting everyone's children and grand children hooked on cocaine and meth so they can literally drain the life out of them and drain every dollar of inheritance and property out of America and into their hands.

    Should a foreign power call on them to strike us, or should the money flow become restricted or their operations hindered in many way, these armies could strike America and take us back over 100 years in time in about 48 hours.

    They would not attack the Hispanic or black neighborhoods, they would just need to hit Middle Class white neighborhoods in the cities and the countryside and the United States of America would descend into smouldering anarchy within hour.

    No prior generation of Americans would have been stupid enough, drugged enough, and brain washed enough to allow this many male foreign nationals of predominantly prime military fighting age, that have sworn no loyalty to our Constitution and that hate Americans of European decent over perceived historic transgressions against their ancestors, to assemble on American soil.

    W
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