Giving a Former Gang Member Another Chance

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Commentary

by Daniel Nardini

I always believe in giving a person another chance for when they realize they did something wrong and are truly repentant. This is the case of Ricardo Garcia. I read his story with interest. A former member of the the Sur 13 gang in Morelia, Mexico, he came to Chicago and became a gang banger in Chicago’s Mexican American communities. He did it all—drugs, violence, fights and lived life on the edge. The miracle is that he not only survived but has sincerely realized that he had done wrong all his life and that the streets can be a mean and terrible place. More than that, he has written a book that tells about his life and how he turned his life around.

The book, originally kept as a journal of his life from age 17, chronicles how he had lived as a gang banger and now wants to be a person doing good. His book warns of those who take the same path as he did, and how that path can lead to violence, broken lives and death. And that happens all too often to so many young people who go the wrong direction. Ricardo Garcia goes through the very streets he was a gang member in, and sells his books to passersby as well as door to door. Now that is spirit and motivation! To my readers, if ever you meet Ricardo Garcia, be sure to buy his book. His life story may help your sons and daughters or another family’s children from going down the wrong path.

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